Enter the 'petro'- Venezuela to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency

Frederick Owens
December 6, 2017

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has announced that the country is creating a cryptocurrency that will be backed by Venezuelan reserves of gold, oil, gas, and diamonds.

Mr. Maduro gave no details in his TV address about what the new currency's value would be, how it would work or when it would be released. Maduro added that the petro would support the nation to advance in areas of financial sovereignty, to move past financial obstructions and to make successful financial transactions.

The announcement came as a surprise to some of the followers of cryptocurrencies, as conventional cryptocurrencies are not backed by governments or central banks.

The announcement was derided by the opposition leaders. They outlined it needs congressional approval.

The country's currency, the Bolivar, has been rendered basically worthless by the country nearly running out of cash. It is an attempt to cope with a failing national economy and circumvent US sanctions.

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Avowed Marxist and member of the constituent assembly Jesus Faria has called for changes to monetary policy that would lead to free global exchange.

Currency controls and excessive money printing have led to a 57 percent depreciation of the bolivar against the dollar in the last month alone on the widely used black market. As a result, the minimum wage per month has dropped to a meager $4.30.

Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader who took office in 2013, didn't reveal a lot about the yet to be launched cryptocurrency named "Petro", or how the country would go by developing and distributing it but did proclaim "the 21st century has arrived!"

"The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech", Trump said in a statement. However, there is a high risk of the plan flopping.

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