The News Today
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4.1.20
Crypto Drop

Here’s Why Venezuela Is Giving Retirees Free Altcoins

December 16th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Victor Tangermann

Merry Christmas!

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro plans to give a whole bunch of citizens some free crypto, in the form of the state-backed “petro” altcoin.

The offer could be read as a nationalized holiday bonus, or a push to get people to use the country’s official altcoin at all. It’s available to public employees, retirees, and the military, according to CoinDesk, and with other attempts to drive its usage falling flat, handing it out seems to be Maduro’s best bet.

Trying Everything

Maduro and the Venezuelan government have been trying all sorts of ploys to get people interested in petro, CoinDesk reports. That ranges from using it to fund public housing to making it available through the Bank of Venezuela and developing new platforms that let Venezuelans send it back home while working abroad.

But only about 400 Venezuelan businesses even accept the altcoin, according to a government release. Given that nation-wide reluctance to transition to crypto, Maduro’s planned petro airdrop may be the best way to actually incentivize the country to accept it.

Big Payday

Everyone who’s eligible needs to sign up for PetroApp, the state-backed crypto wallet, this week. Then the government will distribute half a petro to each person.

That’s worth about $30 — but given that the nation’s monthly minimum wage is less than a third of that, the petro giveaway is likely more than enough to finally draw people in.

READ MORE: Venezuela’s Maduro Says He Will Airdrop Half a Petro Each to Public Employees, Retirees [CoinDesk]

More on the petro: Trump’s Shady Ban of Venezuela’s Shady Cryptocurrency, the Petro: Pretty Shady