The pensioners of PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, have begun to receive their Christmas bonus in the form of petros (PTR), which is the country’s first national cryptocurrency that was introduced back in 2018. The cryptocurrency is backed by Venezuelan oil, along with other resources. These pensioners will be able to access fiat currency by trading the Petro in local exchanges. This is because local reports indicate that the cryptocurrency’s reach is still limited, when it comes to using it as a means of exchange. This bonus will be granted to the pensioners as a Christmas gift through the Motherland platform and they will be able to manage the two Petro they receive, which are worth $120.
Deposits of these bonuses had begun from December 23rd onwards. Those pensioners who are eligible for the bonus will be alerted through the platform, so they can remove their two petros from it. Even though the petro does have a healthy amount of activity in national exchanges, it is still not as widely used as a means of exchange at the moment. Therefore, a number of pensioners have indicated that they intend to exchange the crypto in order to pay for goods and services.
The Petro had been introduced back in 2018 and was the first state-backed crypto network to be launched. This was years before bitcoin (BTC) had been adopted as legal tender by El Salvador. Initially, the price of the Petro was expected to remain stable at $60, as it was to be backed by oil and a number of other resources in Venezuela. However, this did not have a good response in the market and because of the limited utility of the crypto, it has been trading at a fraction of its intended price. Recently, this trend reversed when record prices of Petro could be seen in national exchanges.
Morocotacoin, the local crypto portal, stated that in some exchanges, the crypto asset was trading at a value of $50 or more, and had even reached $56 in some cases. This is not the first instance where the Venezuelan government has made use of the Petro for giving bonuses to their citizens in December. As a matter of fact, the government had made the same move two years ago in 2019. They had decided to distribute half a unit of Petro, which was valued at $30, to the state workers and pensioners as a Christmas gift.
At that time, the government had opted to use the POS system of banks owned by the state for distributing the payments in the form of petros. This allowed workers to make use of the crypto more easily and also gave merchants the option of exchanging the crypto for fiat currency automatically. This time, the government has decided to use a different way of distributing the payments, but the use of the Petro still remains limited. Therefore, most of the pensioners are likely to exchange it for fiat currency in order to use the bonus.