Can the central bank store Bitcoin and Ethereum?
According to a Sept. 26 Bloomberg article, the central bank of Venezuela is taking a closer look at whether they have the possibility to store cryptocurrencies.
The state-run oil and gas company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PSDV), had requested the central bank look into the matter after the oil producer ran into difficulties receiving payments from international clients due to U.S. sanctions.
The unnamed sources said that PDVSA is looking to transfer Bitcoin and Ethereum to the Venezuelan central bank and then have the central institution pay its suppliers in cryptocurrencies.
Crypto could count toward international reserves
In the hope of overcoming its isolation from the global financial system, the Venezuelan central bank is reportedly studying proposals that would see cryptocurrencies counted toward the country’s international reserves, which currently sit at a 30-year low of $7.9 billion.
It has not known how PDVSA has accumulated bitcoin or ethereum, and the value of the digital currencies is also unknown. The oil producer has had difficulties in receiving payments from customers through conventional channels because the main banks are reluctant to do business with a sanctioned entity.
Last month, the company received most of 700 million dollars in Chinese yuan, as the parties did not find financial institutions to facilitate the transaction.
Experts in Venezuela have pointed out that several countries in the world are currently studying very seriously the use of cryptocurrencies as part of their international reserves as an strategic tool in a world plagued with US sanctions everywhere and also as a protection against an expected collapse of the US dollar.
President Maduro, in a press conference held with international correspondents, ratified the use of cryptocurrency as a tool to circumvent US sanctions but he also mentioned that the government is working to improve the use of the Petro (the Venezuelan official cryptocurrency) among Venezuelans.
Venezuela received its first Bitcoin ATM
Cointelegraph reported in September that after multiple false starts, Venezuela’s first crypto ATM was installed in the city of San Antonio del Táchira. The Latin American firm Panda BTM installed the machine which supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and Colombian pesos.