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Venezuela’s Supreme Court Orders Indemnity Payments in State Crypto Petro


Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) has recently ordered a national institute to pay indemnities to one of its employees after she suffered a workplace injury in its oil-backed cryptocurrency petro.

According to Sputnik, the Supreme Court’s ruling was based on a decree on “Cryptoassets and the Sovereign Cryptocurrency Petro,” which was approved in April by the country’s Constituent National Assembly and establishes the “basis for the management of these alternative mechanisms in financial and commercial activity”.

Per the ruling, the National Institute of Agricultural Research (Inia), will have to pay Venezuelan citizen Maria Elena Matos “the equivalent of 266 petros” following a workplace injury. The value of 266 petros is estimated to be of $15,960.

A note the Supreme Court released on social media reads:

“It is established that the Supreme Court set this criterion taking as a reference the value that the National Executive sets for the petro, in order to materialize justice in favor of whoever is affected in their rights and interests, and to counteract the actions that have sought to destabilize the national economy.”

As CCN covered, the Venezuelan government, after months of speculation, announced the Petro was available for sale on November 5. It can be purchased with bitcoin and litecoin, and is presumably not available for purchase with the country’s fiat currency, the sovereign bolivar.

A Controversial Cryptocurrency

While the government has been pushing its citizens and businesses to adopt the Petro, by getting Venezuelans to pay their passport fees in the oil-backed cryptocurrency, by ordering the country’s banks to adopt it, and by pegging it to its devalued fiat currency, a look into its whitepaper seems to show there’s little original about the Petro.

Digging into the cryptocurrency’s whitepaper seemed to show only it was a ‘blatant’ copy of Dash, as it uses the same mining algorithm, has similar features, and even appears to have a part of the document lifted from that of the cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency, initially announced late last year, is reportedly not only backed by the country’s oil reserves, but also by natural resources. Per Sputnik, its value comes from oil (50%), iron (20%), gold (20%), and diamond (10%). When it was first announced, Venezuela’s National Assembly declared it unconstitutional, while the country’s Congress dubbed it “illegal.”

Nevertheless, Chinese credit rating giant Dangong Global Credit Rating revealed it believes the cryptocurrency “may help the global currency system return to its basic value,” as it can “generate useful lessons on how defects of the international currency system can be mended.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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