Venezuela’s largest bank, the Bank of Venezuela (BDV), has added support for the country’s controversial Petro digital currency.
Bank of Venezuela hints at crypto wallet
As cryptocurrency news outlet Decrypt reported on Sept. 13, BDV clients have discovered a new section in their online banking account dedicated to cryptocurrencies.
At present, the crypto wallet only caters to Petro, but as the section appears to be still under development, speculation suggests more tokens may follow.
Petro, launched by the Venezuelan government, is notionally pegged to the country’s oil reserves. The United States Treasury Department believes President Nicolas Maduro wants the digital currency to help Venezuela evade international sanctions.
Bitcoin trading hits 120 billion bolivars
As Cointelegraph reported, Venezuela is becoming increasingly reliant on decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), as other alternatives prove unreliable.
Huge inflation affecting its national currency, the bolivar, has led to record-breaking trading volumes on peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins.
For the week ending Sept. 7, the most recent period for which data is available, Venezuelans traded more than 120 billion bolivars for Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins weekly trading volumes for Sovereign Bolivar (VES). Source: Coin Dance
BDV has yet to publicly comment on its plans, which would make it the first Venezuelan bank to offically support cryptocurrency.