Criptolago, Venezuela-based crypto exchange, has announced it will launch an offline, text message-based payment system that can process oil-backed Petro (PTR) transactions in Venezuela and other cryptocurrencies.
The system can expose new segments of Venezuela’s population to cryptocurrencies in the midst of the country’s ongoing hyperinflation crisis — with the Venezuelan bolivar’s value fluctuating by 1.58 percent over the past 24 hours and by about 2.500 percent over 12 months.
Criptolago Unveils SMS-Based Crypto Transfers
Criptolago stated in a tweet that it developed the service in response to a call from the country’s president for financial firms to develop payment platforms parallel to the Venezuelan banking system that can process Petro transfers:
“Following the guidelines of our president @NicolasMaduro and in favor of our #criptonation, with the new function of Payments for #SMS we have opened the possibility for all the Venezuelan people to carry out #Petro transactions in a very practical way.”
The SMS-based payment system can also process offline transactions in all Criptolago-supported crypto-assets, meaning Venezuelans can now transfer Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Venezuela bolivares and the Venezuelan “investment cryptobank” Glufco’s proprietary token without an internet connection.
With approximately 30 percent of Venezuela’s citizens unable to access the internet, the SMS-based payment system from Criptolago will likely allow new segments of the population to engage with cryptocurrencies. The service is available exclusively to enrolled users.
Venezuela is already the dominant volume source on other offline crypto-payment platforms, with the country accounting for 95 percent of DashText transactions since May 2019.
Despite Venezuelan president and former bus driver Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to mandate the country’s use of PTR as a means of exchange, apparent market uncertainty makes the tool unsuitable for use as a currency.
PTR had traded for $23 on Criptolago and $11.5 on AmberesCoin, according to local crypto news site Morocotacoin, while official sources claimed Petro’s price was above $50.