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Venezuela’s national executive ordered private and public banks to begin using its state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, as a unit of account, according to an announcement last week.

Petro As Unit Of Account

The Venezuelan media published the news that the Superintendencia de las Instituciones del Sector Bancario (Sudeban) ordered all banks, public and private, to adopt the petro as the unit of account for all of their fundraising instruments. It must also be reflected alongside the Sovereign Bolivar (Bs.S) – the new official fiat currency – in all digital, electronic or printed media in which monetary information is given.

El Universal reports that Sudeban states that the measure “is in line with the monetary reconversion process implemented by the National Executive on August 20.

The petro must also appear in all printed media that the bank keeps as savings books or account statements. The government added that communication campaigns will be carried out “to avoid confusion due to the change in the presentation of the information reflected in its instruments.

The government’s notification, dated 23 August, provides for “the creation of control mechanisms to ensure that the information submitted is in line and up to date.

In addition, the agency stressed that the guideline complies with paragraph 26 of Article 171 of the Decree with Rank, Value and Force of Law of Banking Sector Institutions and within the framework of the recovery, growth and economic prosperity program of the country, in order to “safeguard the interests of users and the general public.

The Crisis Deepens

The Maduro government has claimed, without proof, to have raised billions of dollars with the petro in its pre-sale and ICO stages, despite the constant rejection of the initiative from the beginning by Congress, international spokesmen, and the U.S. government.

In March, Donald Trump approved new sanctions against Venezuela that specifically targeted the petro and clarified that American citizens are prohibited from using the cryptocurrency.

This is the latest development to come out of the Maduro administration in regards to the petro. It was previously announced that the state-owned oil company Petróleo de Venezuela (PDVSA) will begin to use the petro as a unit of account, and the government also ordered state-funded pensions and salaries to be anchored in the cryptocurrency.

The latest news also comes after a United Nations report indicating that since 2014, 2.3 million people have fled Venezuela in the midst of the country’s economic crisis.

For this reason, several countries in the region have held meetings in recent days to discuss the issue of the Venezuelan exodus.  At the same time, other nations have labeled Maduro’s measures as an attempt to break the country’s private enterprise.

Experts estimate that Venezuela needs approximately $100 billion to reactivate the productive apparatus that could be the solution to the crisis. Meanwhile, economic measures are accelerating inflation, which could reach 1,000,000,000% this year, accompanying the shortage of basic necessities and public services, such as electricity, water, and natural gas.