You are currently viewing Ejecución de los pagos en Petro. Marco legal del uso de la criptomoneda venezolana

Execution of payments in Petro. Legal framework for the use of Venezuelan cryptocurrency.

At the end of November 2019, the Venezuelan Executive requested to accelerate the use of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, El Petroin the national economic system. At that time, the President estimated that 141,000 businesses throughout the country would be incorporated to the digital currency to meet the demand that also implied the payment of the Christmas bonus, called Petroaguinaldo, to pensioners and public sector workers for an amount of half a Petro, that is, 1,367,977 bolivars.

The legality of payments in Petro 

The creation of the petro started on December 8, 2017. with the publication of Presidential Decree No. 3.196, in the Extraordinary Official Gazette No. 3.346, due to the "international economic blockade" stated by President Nicolás Maduro. This Decree establishes the main objectives of the new digital currency, and authorized the creation of the National Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Related Activitiesbeing the governing body of the use of the Petro as a digital currency. The Ministry with competence in matters of Industries and National Production is in charge of executing all the actions for the transfer and necessary adjustments for the operation of the legal nature of the current Superintendence.

In Official Gazette number 41.575 of January 30, 2019, the legal statutes were published that will regulate transactions with the Venezuelan cryptocurrency. These provisions of public order will prevail in their application over those contained in other laws, as explained in article number 2. In addition, it is noted that the decree is applicable to goods, services, securities or activities related to the constitution, issuance, organization, operation and use of cryptoassets within the national territory.

The regulatory framework defines basic concepts for understanding the functioning of this financial system.such as blockchain, digital mining, cryptoasset, sovereign cryptoasset, cryptocurrency, user and public price. It also establishes the infringements and penalties in case of non-compliance with the rules, which contemplate fines of up to 150 cryptoassets or imprisonment of one to five years.

As of December 18, 2019, when pensioners and civil servants began to receive the Petroaguinaldo benefit.In January 2020, long lines formed in the commercial establishments affiliated to the biopayment. However, in January 2020, many of the merchants had not yet received the corresponding payment for such sales, despite the fact that it is estimated that a large part of the Venezuelan beneficiaries were unable to cash the bonus, due to the blockage of the biopayment system on January 3 of this year. It is estimated that during the period in which the biopayment platform was in operation, approximately 1,233,093 transactions were made. The system is currently being updated until further notice, as reported in the national press.

During the month of January the shipping companies were summoned by the national government to inform about the payment of administrative procedures in Petros, which must be made after the publication of the measure in the Official Gazette of January 14, which determines the collection of services and fees in the Venezuelan cryptocurrency from foreign currency creditor institutions.

The Patria System (technological platform for transactions with Petros) also offers the option of payment of the monthly payments of basic services such as electricity, fixed telephony and internet from Cantv, potable water and gas from Pdvsa Gas. Likewise, the Saime had announced the possibility of paying for the issuance of passports and their extension with the national digital currency.

Thus, it can be seen how, due to the policies of the Executive Power, payment in petros in Venezuela has become a reality and part of the daily life of Venezuelans, so it is necessary to understand all its aspects in order to be able to use this new form of payment safely and efficiently.