Crypto report spoke with the Venezuelan economist Aaron Olmos founder of Olmos Group Venezuela and a university professor, to find out his vision, regarding how the adoption of cryptocurrencies by Venezuelans has been.
During the interview, Olmos mentioned the government's digital token "Petro", and the progress made by the national executive in the regulation of crypto assets within the country, in addition to mentioning what universities have done in terms of training their citizens.
Aarón Olmos is visiting professor at the Institute of Advanced Higher Studies (IESA) and has been a professor at the Central University of Venezuela, Simón Rodríguez Experimental University, Alejandro Humboldt University, among others.
He is currently Academic Coordinator of the «Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Program for Business in the New Economy» IESA.
Member of the Crypto Assets Commission of the Federation of Associations of Public Accountants of Venezuela (FCCPV) and founding president of Olmos Group Venezuela, a company dedicated to training in Digital Economy.
1) How would you define the Petro?
In January 2020 the government decreed the collection of services and rates in petros in state entities, announced the sale of the country's oil production in petro and in December 2019 it delivered bonuses in petros.
However, the lack of information and education regarding its usability has been its main limitation among Venezuelans, Olmos said.
The Petro is a government token, centralized and directed, that until now has served to grant social benefits of state policy, but its usability is not yet known. Until now it has been used as a vehicle of payment for social welfare.
The petro is not included in international exchange platforms, because it has been sanctioned by the US Federal Administration since March 2018, for this reason any US company that deals with the petro could lead to economic sanctions.
2) On what is the program that the IESA advances on blockchain technology based?
The «Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Program for Business in the New Economy» of the Institute of Advanced Higher Studies (IESA), is a 60-hour program, which provides blockchain technology tools and the use of cryptocurrencies applied to the legal and accounting field, both for natural and legal persons.
The idea with this program is to make visible the advantages in the use of crypto assets as an alternative means of payment at the national and international level. As well as detailing the structure, operation and basic elements of blockchain technologies and smart contracts, as well as their application in the economic, financial and managerial fields.
He added that due to the pandemic it is not being offered at the moment, "but it will soon be reactivated."
3) In your opinion, do you consider that the country's universities are up-to-date in terms of training specialists in the area of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology?
In Venezuela we have many technically capable professionals in blockchain technology and users who through experience have added value in the area, however few universities train professionals in this area, due to the fact that, to a large extent, academic coordination They usually link this issue with aspects, which from their judgment, they consider illegal such as mining, trading or the use of crypto assets to do dark business.
However, there are some universities that are training students in this area, such as university of Carabobo, which dictates the optional inter-school subject "Cryptoactives and Cryptocurrencies" in the schools of Administration, Accounting and Economics.
The IESA with the program of "Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Business in the New Economy, Opportunities and Challenges for Management and the Company" aimed at managers, entrepreneurs, and the case of the doctorate in management of the UCV with the seminar on "Technology and Innovation in Business Management ”, where content related to blockchain and crypto-assets are taught and of which I was a visiting professor.
Likewise, the National Experimental University of Telecommunications and Information Technology (UNETI) has a government proposal to form blockchain.
In addition to various guests, specialists who go to universities to give talks on the subject. But unfortunately it is very difficult for me to be able to penetrate this issue in universities at the moment, that is why they have not incorporated these issues into their entire careers.
4) What progress do you think the country has made in terms of the adoption of cryptocurrencies?
The government has regulated the activities related to the use, importation, commercialization of Digital Mining equipment, through the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities "Sunacrip" and created the "Virtual Miners Registration System, virtual exchange houses and other entities dedicated to saving and virtual intermediation of cryptocurrencies ”, since then in Venezuela there are people dedicated to mining under government supervision.
In addition, the Federation of the public accountants college approved in February 2020 the bulletin VEN-NIF 12 version zero on the "possession of own crypto assets" that will govern the accounting record of crypto assets in the country.
Likewise, Sunacrip has implemented 8 steps out of the 10 steps of the "National Crypto Assets Plan", as seen in the following graph.
In this sense, we can say that we are one of the Latin American countries that is most active in regulatory matters, however there is still a long way to go in adoption, in Venezuela the dollar rules as a means of exchange and reserve of value over crypto assets, that is why there must be more training in the business and government sector, we are not yet a "Crypto-donation".
You have to train from home, from high school and from universities. It takes a lot of education for its adoptionBecause the information is politicized especially with the petro issue, that is why its adoption is difficult.
5) Do you consider that fintech companies have consolidated in Venezuela?
Fintech companies are legal entities whose main purpose is the development of technology for the exchange of digital value.
In Venezuela, Fintech companies have focused on providing real solutions, changing digital data to bolivars.
These companies are registered with the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) under a resolution for non-bank payment providers, where the BCV understands that these companies are not banks, but that they are necessary technologies to move digital data of a lot of money and that they must be registered or they would be breaking the law.
However, many people do not know about them because many companies are in the testing phase and are not fully consolidated, so we rather find many foreign FINTECH companies that have a little more acceptance and knowledge due to their experience in handling the currencies and generate a faster exchange with your digital data.