Venezuelan pensioners have rejected their Christmas bonuses because it was paid with the country’s own cryptocurrency, Petro (PTR). The digital asset was sent to them after an announcement on November 29. A week later, the older citizens of the South American country decided that they’ll rather make use of bolivars, the nation’s fiat money.
President Orders Christmas Bonus to be Paid With Cryptocurrency
Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela made the order that the 13th-month salary should be paid with Petro. This is after the price of the digital asset was manipulated and there was an increase in its value. By presidential decree, the cryptocurrency was moved from 3,600 to 9,000 bolivars.
While it is said that the payment was to serve as a gift, it seems that not everyone is happy with theirs. Accordingly, pensioners of the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) revealed on Twitter that the process involved in converting Petro to fiat money is cumbersome. They have little or no idea on how to go about it and as such, access to their money id delayed.
Goods and Services Cannot be Purchased With Petro
These pensioners were also quick to add that Petro, cannot be used to purchase goods and services in the country. Therefore, other than being difficult to convert, people cannot transact with it easily. In this case, there are no local stores accepting the digital asset which means that they will have to fall back on the cumbersome processes of trading the coin for fiat.
Luis Cano, a representative of the Front for the Defense of Retired Persons, Pensioners, Senior Citizens, and Elders, said that the President did not consult them before issuing payments in Petro. Therefore, they’ll rather receive these payments in the sovereign bolivars.
Government Encourages the Use of its Petro Coin
Although this is a real-life implementation of cryptocurrency, mechanisms for foster its growth have not been put in place. This would’ve been targeted at helping older citizens of the country. The younger ones may be more receptive of getting paid in Petro. The reason is, it is a stable coin whose price is not as volatile as Bitcoin.
This is one of the first cases where the public is offered cryptocurrency as a method of payment instead of the other way round. That is, the public paying private companies for their services using a cryptocurrency. This can be said to be the case of KFC restaurants who are set to receive Dash cryptocurrency this week.
In the same vein, a Canadian mobile payment company is accepting Bitcoin from its clients. The coin is then converted to their dollar equivalent before sending to merchants. The company has noted that merchants are reluctant to accept cryptocurrencies. This is because transactions could be slow at times. Also, the processes involved in setting up wallets could be cumbersome.