Venezuela Allowed Paying for a Passport with Bitcoins

Kataryna Kovtun June 25, 2020


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The Venezuelan government, as reported by local media, allowed paying for the country’s passport with bitcoins. This payment option was seen on the website of SAIME, the Venezuelan Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and Foreigners.

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A Twitter user posted a screenshot of the passport agency’s web page showing that he had begun accepting bitcoins.

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According to the message, confirmation of payment by bitcoins took approximately 8 minutes. Bitcoin payments were processed through the BTCPay Server payment processor.

Earlier, the government suspended credit card payments, and this may be because the BTC option was turned on for a short time.

BTC Payment was Canceled after a Few Hours

Users reported that payments in bitcoins were deleted a few hours after their introduction. However, the Venezuelan journalist Marbella Linares denied that the option of paying with bitcoins was available. He noted that the information about the crypto payment was “false”.

However, this contradicts other reports and users who posted screenshots. Some users also suggested that this option was not available to Venezuelan users, only to foreign users who applied for passports.

The Government Actively uses Petro Cryptocurrency

Venezuela has been hit hard by ongoing hyperinflation due to political turmoil. Venezuelan Bolivar has been losing its value against the US dollar for many years. To counter hyperinflation, the government is actively using the Petro cryptocurrency.

Earlier, the government announced the provision of additional benefits to people using oil to buy gasoline in the country. Enterprises in the country, including Burger King and Church’s Chicken, also accept Petro cryptocurrency as a means of payment.

Curiously, Venezuelan users are one of the largest buyers and sellers of bitcoins on the LocalBitcoins peer-to-peer platform.

Recall that earlier the US Department of Justice accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of drug trafficking and concealment of related transactions using the Petro cryptocurrency.

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