Venezuelan central bank launches app to aid currency reconversion

App allows members of the public to covert prices into the new “bolivar soberano”
Central Bank of Venezuela

The Central Bank of Venezuela has launched an app to help members of the public convert their savings into its new currency, which was unveiled earlier this month.

The app, named ‘Calculadora Soberana’, or the ‘Sovereign Calculator’, will help users to convert prices in old bolivars to the new ‘bolivar soberano’, which has ostensibly been pegged to the country’s new cryptocurrency – the petro.

In June, the central bank proposed a new currency series that would see the central bank slash several zeroes from its banknotes.  

Then on August 17, president Nicolás Maduro revalued the bolivar at its black market rate. Prior to the devaluation, $1 was worth 285,000 bolivars; afterwards $1 was worth 6 million bolivars.

The petro, meanwhile, was pegged to the approximate price of a barrel of oil, at the time around $60.

On August 20, the central bank announced the monetary “reconversion” had taken place, slashing five zeroes from each banknote; $1 is now worth 60 bolivars, and one petro is worth 3,600 bolivars. The largest banknote in the new series is the 500 bolivar note.

“I want the country to recover and I have the formula. Trust me,” Maduro said on August 17. The Venezuelan president claims his country is suffering under an economic war orchestrated by the US.

“They’ve dollarised our prices. I am petrolising salaries and petrolising prices,” Maduro said. “We are going to convert the petro into the reference that pegs the entire economy’s movements.”

As well as converting prices from new to old, the app also provides users with access to the latest information regarding the petro’s exchange rate and the rate of conversion.

Information regarding the security features of the new currency series is also available through the app.

While no official statement was published, the central bank advertised its app through its social media channel. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times.

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