The fuel shortage in Venezuela, in combination with quarantine for pandemic coronavirus, keeps the country virtually paralyzed. A commercial agreement of the government with its political ally Iran, was allowed, in may, the arrival of five ships with 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to help alleviate the situation.
June 1 began the sale of gasoline in iran, although with a new pricing scheme. The first is subsidized to 5,000 bolivars a liter (2,5 cents on the dollar), and the second is of an unprecedented payment in us dollars (USD 0.50 cents per litre) that is marketed only in 200 service stations. In the case of the first, the supply is limited to 30 litres a week, or 120 liters per month for vehicles.
For both cases, the government authorized the sale of gasoline at petro (PTR), the project of criptomoneda announced by Nicolas Maduro in December 2017. The measure was ratified by Tareck El Aissami, the vice president for the economic area, who stressed that the new system had reached “the time of the petro”. However, the payment of the gasoline with petro is not being supported in all distribution centers.
A conductor venezuelan 42-year-old and enthusiastic of the cryptocurrencies in the Zulia state, located about 600 kilometres west of Caracas, said Breaking News that since the beginning of the new pricing scheme has attempted to pay for fuel with petro, but without success.
“The first day of the distribution I arrived at a services station on the east coast of Lake Maracaibo and the system for the reception of the payments was not available. The electronic device had not arrived. In the surroundings there was a line of about 40 cars waiting to open the establishment. At 9:25 in the morning opened to dispense up to 30 litres per vehicle. To none he took the gasoline, but a person would take note of the data of the vehicle and driver,” noted José González.
The man explained that it had been prepared to pay with petro because it has a wallet on the platform Fatherland, a system digital state to send subsidies to the venezuelan people, who wish to register and receive the so-called “bonds of social protection”.
Gonzalez noted that it was recorded in the system for the first time by the issue of the gasoline and that, through a family member, we transferred 150 thousand bolivars in petros to his wallet to pay the 30 liters corresponding. As a measure of shelter, Joseph also asked his close friend to send him 150 thousand bolivars to your wallet in venezuelan currency.
“What we wanted was to ensure payment for the system country and not with cash because there are almost no cash in the streets. In my wallet petro had 0,014 PTR, in the wallet of bolivars 150,000 and in cash only had 100,000 bolivars, which in any case, I could reach only up to 20 litres and not the 30 that apply to me”, mentioned the also enthusiast of bitcoin (BTC).
The driver said that his car has a tank for a maximum of 40 litres of petrol and that the plate of the car ends with the number 2, that is to say, that for the second week of distribution, we played the day Thursday, June 11, in accordance with the schedule of dispatching implemented by the national authorities.
In his second attempt to pay with a petro, González decided to try our luck at another service station. The man came to the “bomb” at 5:30 in the morning, and already had 22 vehicles ahead, waiting for a refill.
At 6:20 in the morning opened the establishment, and began to advance. In 45 minutes Joseph was already inside, but before you fill your cart, it had to pay the 30 litres in the administration of the place, a makeshift office is located inside the inoperative store drinks and snacks.
“I was attended to by the manager itself, I sprayed antibacterial on hands and on the body as the security protocol for the pandemic, then asked me how I was going to pay and I told him that with petros. I immediately said: ‘That’s not what we accept here, neither the government itself accepts that.”
Surprised, Joseph asked why they were processing the payments with petros and received the response “do not believe anything the government says”.
The alternatives of payment offered to the man were: bolivars in cash, us dollars or transfers to any of the two bank accounts, that’s despite the fact that the station itself had the device BiopagoPDV active and connected to the platform Homeland for the debit of the petros, or bolivars, and to count the liters of gasoline consumed through the “wallet petrol”.
The driver had no alternative than to pay for the gas with the bolivars in cash for a refill of 20 liters. Asked for his data in order to add them to the BiopagoPDV and on two occasions took their fingerprint to confirm the purchase and register the consumption in the subsidy system.
After the information was processed and the money received, González indicated that he submitted a receipt of payment issued by the BiopagoPDV. With the ticket headed with your vehicle until the fuel dispenser and handed it to the firefighter of the guard who finally pointed him toward the gasoline.
Proof issued by the platform Homeland seconds after the driver took 20 liters of gasoline. Source: Jose Gonzalez.
“I was handed a ticket that you printed the BiopagoPDV with the logo of the company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to be delivered to the firefighter, and I dispatched the fuel. I waited two minutes while I arising from the gasoline and I went with the tank almost full,” said the trader.
And he added: “What bothers me is that you say that yes it processed payments with petros and then one goes to the site and it is not possible to pay. I tried to pay for gas with petro but I don’t accept it”.
The case of José González is repeated in various stations that he visited Breaking News in the area south of Maracaibo and in the eastern coast of the Lake. However, other drivers consulted by this newspaper, on the outskirts of the distribution centers indicated that they have paid in bolivars through the platform Homeland-and to a lesser extent what he had done with petros.
Such was the case of Esteban Prieto, 54 years old, who commented that he could afford with petros in Maracaibo, but that several stations are not accepted, although unknown reasons.
“I paid the first time with petro because since December I have the average petro aguinaldo in the wallet, and I don’t know what to do with that. If I accept, I will continue paying in that currency,” said Prieto on the bonus in petro who received almost six months ago.
In connection with the payment of the gasoline with petros, the platform Patria reported that this method is accepted by all service stations in Venezuela, whether it is gasoline subsidized price or international.
“Gasoline can be paid in petros, in any of the resorts services-enabled, either those that provide subsidized fuel or the selling, taking as a reference the international price. At the time of payment, you must indicate that it will be through ‘BiopagoBDV’, then ‘Platform Patria’ and the instrument ‘Wallet Petro’”, was published last Monday in the official web site of the system.
The mechanism works as follows to pay with petro enabled by the national authorities. Source: homeland.org.see.
Unofficial estimates claim that during the first week of marketing of the gasoline at petro dollars, a 15% of total sales, were processed with petro. Among the 200 stations that receive payments in dollars or petro, the figure would have amounted to a 40% of the total sales with the call criptomoneda venezuelan.
The option to pay for the gas in Venezuela, petro is the most recent measure implemented by the national authorities to promote the adoption of the criptoactivo. However, the oil-rich country does not show a massive adoption of this mechanism. On the contrary, the people have chosen to use dollars, colombian pesos or brazilian reais, in the border areas, given the constant inflation and devaluation suffered by the national currency, the bolivar.