Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a Month

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a Month

Economy & Regulation

Announcing a 60-fold increase of the minimum monthly salary, President Maduro promised Venezuelans they will be paid at least 0.5 petro, once his monetary reforms are in place next week. The national crypto will be exchanged at a rate of $60 USD and the new “sovereign bolivar” will be pegged to the digital coin.   

Also read: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly Jurisdictions

1 Petro = 60 Dollars = 1 Barrel

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a MonthNicolás Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro revealed the fixed price of the country’s cryptocurrency, the petro, and a new minimum wage as part of a package of measures aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions in the South American country. The policies will be implemented on Monday, when the new, denominated brolivar will be introduced to replace the highly inflated national fiat.

Starting from August 20, 1 PTR will be officially exchanged for $60 US dollars – approximately the value of a barrel of oil on the international markets. The state-issued digital coin can also be purchased with the newly issued “sovereign bolivar” which takes away five zeros from the current “strong bolivar.” One petro will cost 3,600 new bolivars (now 360 million).

With inflation expected to reach 1 million percent by the end of the year, according to the IMF, bolívar fuerte is one of the fastest depreciating national currencies in the world. However, the new bolívar soberano will be “anchored” to El Petro, the oil-backed cryptocurrency introduced by the administration of the leftist Venezuelan leader earlier this year.

60-Fold Increase of the Minimum Salary

President Maduro also announced that the minimum monthly wage in the country will be raised to 0.5 PTR, 1,800 sovereign bolivars or $30 USD. That’s 60 times more than the current 3 million old bolivars (30 after the denomination). The Venezuelan head of state also said the government will compensate small and medium-sized enterprises for the difference in the basic wages in the next 90 days. It will also raise the VAT from 12 to 16 percent.

The changes come after Nicolás Maduro shared his intentions to denominate the bolivar back in March. The new banknotes were expected to have three zeros less than the current and were supposed to be issued in early June. The monetary conversion was subsequently postponed and in late July Venezuelan authorities announced that the petro-pegged bolivar will be introduced on August 20, getting rid of five zeros.

State Retaking Control of Economy

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a MonthEarlier this week, the Venezuelan president said that starting from Monday his economically troubled country will have two official units of account – the petro, and the sovereign bolivar. The old and the new version of the national fiat will be circulating together for some time before the “strong bolivar” is phased out.

Maduro assured his compatriots that Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) and all public and private banks already had the new banknotes and were actively preparing to implement the changes. He added that besides salaries, pricing will also be adjusted and the price ceiling mechanism will be restored. On Friday, the president warned merchants there would be no excuses for any price hikes. Quoted by El Nacional, he stated:

There has to be a government, we have to retake the regulatory role, the authority of the state and the government to enforce economic rules.

Venezuela issued the petro in February becoming the first nation to adopt its own cryptocurrency. The crypto is backed by its oil reserves, one of the largest in the world. Caracas has been trying to introduce the coin in bilateral trade with countries like Russia and India but official agreements have not been reached yet.

According to resent reports, the Islamic Republic of Iran, another country hit by US lsanctions with which Venezuela maintains close relations, is stepping up efforts to develop its cryptocurrency. Iranian government wants to use the coin to circumvent the restrictions reimposed by Washington this month which are mainly targeting its ability to acquire US dollars.

What do you think will be the effect of the reforms Maduro’s administration is introducing? Share your opinions in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Crypto Markets See Slight Slump, Ethereum Fails to Hold $300 Support

Saturday, August 18: crypto markets have seen another slump today, with some coins wavering following weekly gains, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Total market cap has dipped as low as $210 billion at press time.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is down 1.79 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at $6,396 at press time. With that, the top cryptocurrency has seen an intraday high of $6,562. The coin has lost around 13 percent over the past 30 days, while holding its weekly gains, according to Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin 30 days price chart

Bitcoin 30 days price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) has failed to hold $300 support, trading at $291 at press time. The major altcoin has suffered a 3.74 percent loss over a 24 hour period, also having failed to keep momentum over the week with an 11 percent loss in the past 7 days.

Ethereum price chart

Ethereum price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap has taken a somewhat downward trend today, dipping as low as $208 billion. At press time, total market capitalization has seen modest growth, now amounting to $210 billion.

Intraday Total market capitalization chart

Intraday Total market capitalization chart. Source: Coinmarketcap

While total market cap is down, Bitcoin is holding its position in the crypto market, with its dominance standing at 52.27 percent at press time.

Ripple (XRP), the third biggest altcoin by market cap, has also taken a hit, down 6 percent on the day and currently trading at $0.31.

Ripple recently partnered with three crypto exchanges to develop its cross-border payments service xRapid, enabling a “healthy” ecosystem for  transactions between XRP and U.S. dollars, Mexican pesos, and Philippine pesos.

Ripple 7 days price chart

Ripple 7 days price chart. Source: Cointelegraph XRP Price Index

Stellar (XLM) and Monero (XMR), are also down 2.3 and 0.6 percent over the past 24 hours, respectively. Stellar is trading at $0.22, while Monero stands at $96.19 at press time.

Ethereum Classic (ETC), which was recently listed by major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase, has given up its eleventh position on the market to TRON (TRX), according to Coinmarketcap. Now ranking 12th, ETC is down 7.8 percent, currently trading at $13.09.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

Security

The South Korean government has announced the outcome of its inspection of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. While a number of exchanges have completed implementing both short-term and wallet management measures, many security vulnerabilities remain at most exchanges.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

21 Exchanges Inspected

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security MeasuresSouth Korea’s government has announced the result of its mid-term review of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. The inspection was conducted in June and July by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.

KISA security experts visited each exchange to check on the 85 items identified during its previous crypto exchange inspection, conducted between January and March. They focused on 17 items which needed immediate implementation; six were short-term measures and 11 concerned crypto wallet management.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Intermediate checks were carried out in such a way as to confirm whether improvements had been made, focusing on the 17 security items recommended for quick action,” the government explained. These items include dedicated security and management staff, a password management system, crypto deposit and withdrawal controls, and a system to monitor wallets for abnormalities.

The agencies revealed that 11 out of 21 exchanges have completed the short-term measures. In addition, eight of them have also improved their wallet management systems. The eight are Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinnest, Coinlink, Coinone, Coinplug, and Huobi Korea, local media detailed. The government reiterated:

In the management of virtual currency wallets, most of the vulnerabilities in the business have not yet been improved.

Furthermore, twelve companies have been found to have insufficient security procedures to prevent data leakage and loss of funds from their cold wallets. Ten companies have inadequate systems to monitor hot wallets for suspicious activities. In addition, at least ten businesses lack wallet backup and recovery measures.

Further Inspections Planned

The final check on the implementation of recommended measures will be carried out next month, the agencies noted, adding that any new crypto exchanges will also be inspected.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Because of the weak security of virtual currency exchanges, we should be careful in investing,” Kim Jong-sam, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Information and Communication, commented. “We will continue to check virtual currency exchanges to improve security.”

Referencing the hack of Coinrail and Bithumb in June, KISA described that “the leakage of virtual currency due to the hacking of recent dealers has directly led to the damage of users,” adding that after checking 85 security items, “there are many dealers with low security.”

Emphasizing that they have been asking crypto exchanges to “improve security levels by completing the recommendations for improvement,” the agencies revealed:

We plan to support the improvement of the security level of the dealers through continuous inspection of the dealers.

What do you think of the Korean government’s review? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Kisa.


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