BlackRock CEO Skeptical about Bitcoin’s Viability as Currency

BlackRock CEO Skeptical about Bitcoin’s Viability as Currency

BlackRock CEO recently expressed doubts about Bitcoin ever becoming a widely accepted form of money. Meanwhile, Venezuela is set to shut down its national cryptocurrency, the petro, on January 15. Launched in 2018 to circumvent U.S. sanctions, the petro failed to gain significant traction and will cease operations, as reported on the government-run website dedicated to the coin.

The petro, backed by oil, was introduced during the economic decline of the fiat bolivar and the rise of Bitcoin in the country. Despite achieving full functionality in 2020, the coin was never traded internationally, and local efforts to promote its use were largely unsuccessful. Notably, even the largest bank in Venezuela, Banco de Venezuela, did not accept the petro without a presidential order.

In June 2020, the head of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets, responsible for overseeing the petro, faced international scrutiny. Joselit Ramirez Camacho was accused of ties to global narcotics trade, leading to a $5 million bounty from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was later arrested in Venezuela in March 2023 for financial irregularities within the national oil industry, resulting in the closure and reorganization of the agency.

Despite earlier plans by the Central Bank of Venezuela to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in 2021, those initiatives never materialized. This development comes amidst a global landscape where the adoption and regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrencies continue to be subjects of interest and debate.

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