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Venezuela moves ahead to issue its oil-backed cryptocurrency

January 08, 2018

President Maduro has officially ordered the issuance of over 100 million Petros – Venezuela’s new oil-backed cryptocurrency.

In late 2018 we first reported that President Maduro of Venezuela had publicly announced his government’s intent to create a state cryptocurrency that will be backed by oil – and now the statesman has moved ahead to order the issuance of over 100 million Petros.

Maduro’s order will see the first national meeting of petrocurrency miners take place on January 14th, while a white paper detailing the workings of the cryptocurrency will be published on the same date.

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The bid to create a petrocurrency comes on the back of economic turmoil in Venezuela, which has seen the value of the nation’s official currency, the bolívar, tumble.

In an official address, Maduro confirmed that each Petro would bear the value of a single barrel of oil, quipping that “I’ve ordered the issue of 100 million Petros, based on national wealth. Each Petro will have the value of a barrel of Venezuela’s oil.”

The bid to create a petrocurrency has not been met with universal approval. Maduro’s critics have dismissed the move, citing that the creation of a national petrocurrency would require congressional approval, and that other pressing needs such as food and medical supply must take priority.

In a statement to Reuters, opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado quipped that the statesman’s initial announcement surrounding the creation of a petrocurrency had little bearing, offering that “It’s Maduro being a clown… This has no credibility”.

Nations in economic turmoil, such as Zimbabwe, have seen citizens embrace cryptocurrencies as an alternative to state-backed fiat currencies. Last year, Dash announced a new deal which could place itself as Zimbabwe’s leading cryptocurrency.

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Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA