If you want a Venezuelan passport, you have to pay in cryptocurrency

Venezuelan officials announce that you can only buy the country’s passports using the Petro cryptocurrency…

Amidst a backdrop of criticism, Venezuelan authorities are continuing to press ahead with integrating the nation’s national cryptocurrency – the Petro – into everyday life.

As we reported here, the Petro is being officially launched next month, some 11 months after it was first announced. The idea is that it’ll be used to help combat the hyperinflation that Venezuela has been experiencing, and to try and bring the country’s economy under some degree of control. Critics have slammed the Petro already, though, suggesting that there’s no market confidence in it.

Yet Venezuelan officials are doubling down. Now comes an announcement from the country’s vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, who has said that from this week onwards, if Venezuelan citizens want a passport, they’re going to have to stump up for it using the Petro. A new passport will cost 2 Petros, whilst an extension to an existing document will set people back 1 Petro.

These amounts reflect some four times the current national monthly minimum wage in the country. Inevitably, therefore, this move is likely to stem the number of people who are choosing to leave Venezuela every month.

The Petro official goes on sale from November 5th, and few are expecting it now to have the drastic impact on the economy that the nation’s government is banking on (in more than one sense). Thanks to the new passport pricing, it now also looks as if there’s no way out for many stuck in the country.

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