Nicolás Maduro, the disputed President of Venezuela, has predicted big things to come for crypto in the nation in 2021 – claiming that the state-issued petro (PTR) token will undergo a renaissance in the year ahead and stating that a “complete digitalization process” will transform the economy in the next 12 months.
In an address to the nation in the parliament building, Maduro spoke of a “revival” for the petro, which many observers have claimed has thus far failed as a token, with few citizens genuinely keen on using the token in real-world scenarios as anything other than a gateway to bigger tokens or international fiats.
But the petro revival will be a key pillar in the goal of attaining total economic digitization, Maduro added.
He spoke of sparking an economic recovery, using popular cryptoassets and blockchain technology, and stated,
“National and global cryptocurrency systems will set the tone for 2021, as will the use of blockchain technology in different sectors […] and the development of new applications that will provide solutions to specific problems.”
He added that Caracas would also look to provide new functionality to the crypto-powered Patria platform, which allows Venezuelans to receive crypto remittances from overseas.
And Maduro said that his government would this year provide a “means of [digital] payment” for public transport and merchants – presumably in petro and/or fiat bolivars – that do not require a Wi-Fi or wired internet connection.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan police claimed it has shut down 37 unregistered crypto miners. In an Instagram post from the police force in the state of Carabobo, law enforcement officials wrote that they had detained a 53-year-old man on charges of illegally operating what appeared to be ASIC bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs, with a photograph of the suspect, handcuffed and facing a wall, standing behind all of his alleged bitcoin miners.
Under legislation introduced last year, crypto mining operations must be reported and registered with a central regulator.
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