Venezuelan Passport Fees Can Only Be Paid In New State-Issued Cryptocurrency ‘Petro’

The government of Venezuela has mandated its citizens to use the state-backed cryptocurrency Petro in paying for passport fees as of next week.


The government of Venezuela has mandated its citizens to use the state-backed cryptocurrency Petro in paying for passport fees as of next week, according to a statement made by the country’s vice president Delcy Rodriguez in a press conference.

Venezuelan Passports now cost 2 Ppetro

The Venezuelan government has announced on October 5 that henceforth, the official passport issued by the State could only be purchased using the country’s official cryptocurrency, the Petro.

The Vice President in his press conference announced that the passports will cost two Petros, equivalent to 7,200 bolivars ($115 U.S. at the time of writing) and that an extension to the existing document would cost 1 Petro.

Even though these fees may seem negligible in the U.S and European countries, they are prohibitive for Venezuelans. The fees for the passport are four times higher than the nationally-enforced monthly minimum wage.

These fees mean that the country’s official passport is now unattainable to average Venezuelans.

The Vice President further added that for those living abroad, it would cost them $200 to get the passport and $100 to extend it. This would be in place until the first day of next month.

The current economic hardship in the country has leaders scrambling to stop people from leaving the country.

Data compiled by the United Nations shows that roughly 5,000 citizens flee Venezuela every single day, with this number expected to grow higher Venezuelans believe they can build a better future under a different government and economy.

This has prompted the leadership of the country to set up a migration police force that would stop illegal border crossing.

Even though in-depth details have not been provided, the migration police will set up shop at 72 ports of entry across the country.

Even via legal means, traveling out of the country is still a challenge. South China Morning Post recently revealed that major airlines, like Avianca, United Airlines, and Lufthansa, had ceased service to the country.

Doubts still exist over Petro

Even though the South American country is doing its best to enforce the use of the newly-introduced Petro, doubts still remain over the potential of the cryptocurrency.

Recent reports have shown that the Petro is a blatant copy of Dash cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency was accused of copying several features that are present in Dash.

Allegations surfaced recently that some of the Petro’s features were copied from the Dash project’s whitepaper.

In an interview with the BBC, Canadian cryptocurrency expert and the co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute Alex Tapscott stated that he is still skeptical about the future of the Petro token.

He stated that the reaction from the cryptocurrency community has been a mixture of dumbfoundedness and anger. There is little technical information about the cryptocurrency, leading to lack of trust in Petro.

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