Venezuela’s Central Bank Releases Android App For Its New Crypto-Backed Bolivar

News | August 27, 2018 By:

Venezuela’s central bank has released an Android app to help residents convert the country’s old fiat currency Bolivar to the Bolivar Soberano, the country’s new Petro-pegged currency.

Called, “Calculadora Soberana,” the Android app was developed by Comunicacion Digital VE. It converts Bolivar to Bolivar Soberano by taking five zeroes away from the amount being converted. It also enables users to follow the “latest news and information on currency conversion.” At press time, the app has been downloaded by more than 10,000 users and has a 4.7 rating on the Google Play store, after being reviewed by 184 people.

“The Sovereign Calculator, a tool for everyone and all Venezuelans, is the best ally people will have to understand and assimilate the monetary re-denomination process,” the country’s central bank tweeted. “Download it now!”

In July of this year, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro devalued Bolivar by 95% and converted the new Bolivar to the oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR). At the time, Maduro said the measure will be the saviour of the economy and tackle the spiralling hyper-inflation.

After that, the president announced that the Petro will be used as an official unit of account. He said the government will introduce a new salary system and a pricing system for goods and services that are anchored to the oil-backed cryptocurrency.

Since launching the Petro late last year, the cryptocurrency has been embroiled in controversy. In March, Brookings Institute argued that the Petro is likelier to harm legitimate cryptocurrencies, than it is to help Venezuelan’s escape the recession the country is currently enduring. During the same month, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning any US transactions in the Petro as part of a series of new sanctions against the country.