New reports suggest that the Venezuelan government has perfected plans that makes it compulsory for Venezuelans to pay for passport fees using the state backed cryptocurrency, Petro. This was made known by the country’s vice president, Delcy Rodriguez in a press conference held on Friday. Starting from this week, Venezuelans who intend paying for passport fees would have to start making use of the state backed cryptocurrency, Petro.
Although the official launch of the state backed cryptocurrency, Petro is still a month away, Rodirguez announced that starting from Monday, all fees for passport application would only be payable using Petro. For a new passport, applicants would be charged two Petros and 1 Petro for extension.
While this may be a welcome development for the country which has been plagued with overwhelming inflation rate in the past few years, Bloomberg reports that the monthly minimum wage in Venezuela at the moment is four times less than the cost of the raised passport fees. This has drawn lots of criticism as many believe a lot of people may not be able to afford it.
For Venezuelans abroad, Rodriguez stated that “Until the first day of November the cost will be $200 for issuance and $100 for extensions.
It is important to note that the Venezuelan government is taking active steps to combat the side-effects of rampant inflation and a failing economy by leveraging cryptocurrency to circumvent capital controls.
In a recent report, Petro which has been courted as presidents Maduro’s solution to the economic crisis bedeviling the country has come under serious criticisms especially as many people believe that developers of the country’s backed cryptocurrency copied the whitepaper belonging to Dash
Following the recent passport fee shake-up, vice president Rodriguez has also announced the setting up of a dedicated migration police force, who are under obligation “to preserve citizen security and migratory control.”
Bloomberg reports that nearly 5,000 citizens flee the country every day, no thanks to the harsh economic realities the country is currently experiencing.