Venezuelan president Maduro’s controversial oil-backed cryptocurrency gains further acceptance. | Source: Shutterstock

The Venezuelan Petro could be on its way to becoming a cryptocurrency with real use cases. Today, with no big advertisements or fanfare, reports and pictures appeared that Traki, one of the largest department stores in the country, started the day with posters announcing the acceptance of Petros as a means of payment.

CCN confirmed that Traki did not place such “Petro Accepted Here” banners in all its branches. However, that policy could replicate to the rest of the locations in a short time after they succeed in Caracas.

Several hours later, the rumours were confirmed by the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets; Venezuela’s prime authority with competence to regulate cryptocurrencies and similar assets:

As of July 25, Traki accepts #Petro as a means of payment to purchase the products and items sold in all of its commercial stores.

Traki and Crypto: Round 2

Traki has been a model for cryptocurrency adoption in the country. As early as 2018 the corporation began accepting payments with Bitcoin and other altcoins. Traki included the Venezuelan Petro on that group, but the difficulties in converting those tokens to fiat money led the company stop such efforts.

Leaving Petro aside, it seems that Bitcoin and DASH are the most frequently coins used by customers to pay in Traki. However, crypto in general is not very popular among customers because not many people use them and employees do not have the best training on how to accept this type of payment:

Traki started accepting Petro back in 2018, but had to suspend it after many difficulties

Today I went to Traki in Valencia, and when I said I was going to pay with crypto, the interrogation face of all the staff was a poem. If you are going to accept crypto, which I think is wonderful, please instruct your staff because far from encouraging this means of payment, what you achieve is to frighten away its use. Do not make such announcements if you are not really prepared. Greetings

Similarly, Venezuela’s galloping inflation, coupled with the financial controls (at least in certain stores in the interior of the country) made it difficult to make the conversion VES-USD-Petro.

Petro Needs to Overcome an International Skepticism

The Petro has quietly increased its usability even though the authorities have not officially announced its release to the public; however, some critical advances can already be observed not only at a legal level but also in terms of usability:

  • The state declared it as a legitimate means of payment
  • Certain payments of obligations in Petro have already been ordered
  • There are local exchanges with the Petro listed and being traded against BTC (such as Bancar and Amberes)
  • There are small stores and e-stores that already accept Petro —mainly as a novelty.

The Petro has had great difficulty taking off. The constant changes of its whitepaper, the change of its formula, announcements that do not materialize, accusations of fraud and the prohibition of its use by the United States are only a few of the obstacles that have prevented the adoption of this token.

CCN tried to contact Traki to confirm whether they will accept Petro nationwide but it was impossible to obtain an official statement.

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