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'Petro': Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro announces launch of oil-backed cryptocurrency

06 December, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Venezuela is choosing cryptocurrency over the U.S. dollar

According to him, this step will allow you to go to the "new forms of global funding" to support economic and social development of the country.

The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that "the 21st century has arrived!" It is an attempt to cope with a failing national economy and circumvent USA sanctions.

After details about the cryptocurrency first surfaced over the weekend, Maduro said the petro would help Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade".

During the broadcast, Maduro revealed that the cryptocurrency will be backed by commodity reserves including oil, diamonds, and gold.

Opposition leaders criticised the announcement, which needs congressional approval in order to become government policy. Venezuela is now lacking in fundamental needs such as medicine and food.

Maduro blames those problems on sanctions imposed by the United States in August, barring American citizens and companies from buying any new Venezuelan government or PDVSA bonds.

Maduro's pivot away from the USA dollar comes after the recent spectacular rise of bitcoin BTC=BTSP, which has been fuelled by signs that the digital currency is slowly gaining traction in the mainstream investment world.

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 currency has lost 96% of its value this year.

"It's Maduro being a clown". In just one month, there has been a 57% depreciation in the bolivar vis-à-vis the dollar owing to uncontrolled money printing and currency restrictions.

"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. On Sunday he said Venezuela was facing a financial "world war".

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