Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that public workers, retirees, and military personnel will be receiving 0.5 Petro each for the holiday season. This is possibly the first government backed cryptocurrency airdrop.
0.5 Petro is worth $30, which may not sound like a lot of money, but in Venezuela $30 is equivalent to the average salary for 3 months of work, and is worth 1.364 million Sovereign Bolivars.
Essentially, Venezuela has been ravaged by hyperinflation in recent years, and an aidrop of $30 of Petro can actually provide significant help to families during the holiday season.
The Petro has been mired in controversy since the beginning, with allegations that the Petro is not a functioning cryptocurrency and that it is not worth anything. However, 400 businesses now accept the Petro, so Venezuelans could use Petro to buy a variety of goods and services.
Further, Venezuelans must download the PetroApp to receive the airdrop, and this app has the capability to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dash. Therefore, the Petro airdrop will directly increase cryptocurrency adoption in the country, since there is a major incentive to participate, all participants will become users of Venezuela’s official cryptocurrency exchange, and participants could trade their 0.5 Petro for major cryptocurrencies.
Maduro also announced that 500,000 Petros will be distributed to towns and local governments.
Although the Petro has been quite controversial, it seems that it could have a positive effect on increasing cryptocurrency adoption in the country, which is something that Venezuelans desperately need since their native fiat currency has been losing all of its value over and over again.