Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the entire world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the “petro” backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy.
The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would likely pull off such a feat, nevertheless he declared to cheers that will “the 21st century has arrived!”
“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency,” backed by oil, gas, gold in addition to diamond reserves, Maduro said in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a a few-hour showcase of Christmas songs in addition to dancing.
The petro, he said, would likely help Venezuela “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions in addition to overcome the financial blockade.”
Opposition leaders derided the announcement, which they said needed congressional approval, in addition to some cast doubt on whether the digital currency would likely ever see the light of day inside midst of turmoil. The real currency, the bolivar, is actually in freefall, in addition to the country is actually sorely lacking in basic needs like food in addition to medicine.
Still, the announcement highlights how sanctions enacted This particular year by President Donald Trump’s administration are hurting Venezuela’s ability to move money through international banks.
Washington has levied sanctions against Venezuelan officials, PDVSA executives in addition to the country’s debt issuance.
Sources say compliance departments are scrutinizing transactions linked to Venezuela, which has slowed some bond payments in addition to complicated certain oil exports.
Maduro’s pivot away by the U.S. dollar comes after the recent spectacular rise of bitcoin, which has been fueled by signs that will the digital currency is actually slowly gaining traction inside mainstream investment world.
The announcement bewildered some followers of cryptocurrencies, which typically are not backed by any government or central banks. Ironically, Venezuela’s currency controls in recent years have spurred a bitcoin fad among tech-savvy Venezuelans looking to bypass controls to obtain dollars or make internet purchases.