In his annual speech to the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly, Maduro announced the state-owned company , PDVSA, would only accept petro for fuel sold to airlines. "I decree the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on," he said.
It's uncertain whether the new restrictions apply exclusively to the capital's Bolivar International Airport, or whether airlines flying from other airports within the country are going to be targeted, too. Similarly, it isn't clear if the principles will only apply to Venezuelan airlines or include international carriers.
Airlines are going to be ready to purchase fuel employing a PetroCard which will convert international currencies, including the U.S. dollar, into petro for payment.
"[W]e are opening roads to the new economy. We are building a world for the peace and integration of peoples, their happiness and improvement," he said.
In his speech, Maduro also declared that government authorities would only accept the petro for document service fees, including passport applications.
Cryptocurrencies are popular in Venezuela, a rustic where years of hyperinflation have rendered the national bolívar practically worthless. When the govt announced it had been launching a cryptocurrency backed by the country's vast oil reserves, it hoped the petro could become a replacement means of payment to assist businesses bypass U.S.-imposed sanctions.
But the govt has thus far struggled to push adoption. Despite Maduro's hopes to form it as widespread because the bolívar, the govt said in November that only 400 businesses within the country accepted the petro. In December, he offered public-sector workers, pensioners and soldiers a $30 holiday bonus – during a country where the wage is under $10 a month – for signing up to the state-backed cryptocurrency wallet and payments platform PetroApp.
Maduro previously ordered PDVSA to convert a percentage of its sales and purchases into the petro in early 2018. During Tuesday's speech, the president ordered the corporate to right away sell 4.5 million barrels of oil in exchange for the cryptocurrency and from then on to sell a minimum of fifty ,000 barrels per day as an "exploration mechanism" to sound out industry interest.