Venezuelan President Announces Petro Cryptocurrency Backed By Country’s Resource Reserves To Combat Financial Blockade
Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro announced that the country will create a national fiat cryptocurrency that will be called the Petro and will be backed by the nation’s oil, gold, gas, and diamond reserves.
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced on Sunday during an interview that his country will create a national cryptocurrency called the Petro. Its goal is “to combat what the leftist leader says is a financial ‘blockade’ against the crisis-hit nation spurred by U.S. Sanctions,” Reuters reported.
Maduro detailed that the new cryptocurrency will be “backed by oil, gold, gas and diamond reserves,” Agencia Venezolana de Noticias wrote.
“I want to announce that Venezuela is going to implement a new cryptocurrency system based on oil reserves, in order to advance in the area of monetary sovereignty. This will allow us to move towards new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of the country,” Maduro said.
“We are facing a financial war against the country which we have denounced and the opposition has denied. There are businesspeople who are unaffected by Donald Trump’s blockade. With this, we will join the 21st century,” Maduro added, as cited by Panorama.
The idea of creating a national cryptocurrency in Venezuela “was met with widespread scorn from Maduro’s foes who doubt that economically crippled Venezuela could pull off the launch of a cryptocurrency,” Reuters detailed.
“It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility,” opposition lawmaker and economist Angel Alvarado told the news publication. Opposition legislator Jose Guerra added, “I see no future in this.”
This comes after Venezuela’s fiat currency the Bolivar has been in a free fall since 2014 causing citizens to move towards Bitcoin mining and using Bitcoin to survive as hyperinflation has overtaken the nation’s currency. The currency lost about 57 percent last month in the black market, dragging the country’s monthly minimum wage down to $4.30, the news outlet expressed. “Millions of Venezuelans plunged into poverty are struggling to eat three meals a day.”
The country’s annual inflation rate surged 1,600 percent in September, according to The Atlantic.
With few utilities that its citizens can still afford, electricity is one that believe it or not they can. In fact, electricity power in the country is hugely subsidized and virtually free. This is all thanks to President Nicolás Maduro who issued orders to give Venezuelans electricity under his socialist regime.
However, the government condemned the mining and arrested people for “stealing” the free electricity in January earlier this year, Forbes reported.
Maduro has approved the creation of a BlockchainBase observatory to oversee the development and rollout of the new cryptocurrency, La Patilla, reported.
OPEC member Venezuela boasts the largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world, but has struggled against the plunge in oil prices which began in 2014, according to RT.
Will Venezuela be the first country to introduce a fiat cryptocurrency? The race is on as both China and Russia have also discussed implementing their own versions of a fiat cryptocurrency next year.
The year 2018 will be very interesting for the cryptocurrency sphere indeed, as we move closer and closer to the introduction of a fiat cryptocurrency. Which will be the first country to make the plunge into the Financial Technology and a new economic system for their citizens? Is it too late with over 1325 cryptocurrencies to choose from for governments to play catch up?
Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $11,944.30] according to Coin Market Cap at the time of this report.