Venezuela is set to begin using its “petro” cryptocurrency as an official accounting unit, according to the country’s president.
ABC International reported the development on Tuesday, citing a televised announcement by President Nicolas Maduro, who first unveiled the petro back in December. As part of the change, the state oil and gas company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will reportedly begin using the petro as a mandatory accounting unit.
The moves come as Venezuela’s government seeks to combat growing economic turmoil by relaxing its currency controls, according to an August 7 report from CNBC. On August 20, for example, the government will seek to revalue its currency, the bolivar, and create a “sovereign bolivar.”
In turn, the central bank will begin publishing the price of the sovereign bolivar as it relates to the petro “and the price of the petro according to international currencies,” ABC reports. Similar moves will see the country’s salary and pension systems tied to the petro’s value.
Since its debut, the petro has proven to be highly controversial, drawing attacks from opposition politicians within Venezuela as well as those in the U.S and abroad.
In March, the Trump administration barred U.S. citizens from transacting in the petro as part of a series of new sanctions against the South American country.