It has been reported that RunRun.es, which was founded by Venezuelan investigative journalist Nelson Bocaranda, cited anonymous sources from the country’s central bank who claim that “payments to companies from allied countries such as Iran and Turkey have been made using Bitcoin.”
However, it is not clear what these imports consist of Turkey and Iran currently provide the country food and fuel in exchange for gold.
The report said that Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, has promoted its state-issued, purportedly oil-backed ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency as a means of exchange both internationally and domestically since launching the token in 2018.
It has been analyzed that poor adoption of the Petro has forced the regime to explore other crypto assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Maduro began to publicly threaten the use of Bitcoin and other crypto-assets as a means to bypass sanctions in September by proclaiming his administration would soon “use all the cryptocurrencies in the world, public, state, or private, for internal and external trade.”
Likewise, on October 8, Venezuela’s National Assembly passed the Anti-Blockade Law, granting further executive powers to circumvent sanctions imposed on the country, including to authorize the creation or use of any crypto asset as a monetary instrument.
Thus, the Venezuelan government established its “Digital Assets Production Center”, a Bitcoin mining warehouse in November, as the country increased its reliance on cryptocurrencies.