Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela announced the launch of ‘Petro’, a digital currency backed by oil reserves to uplift a collapsed economy. He made this announcement in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a display of Christmas songs and dancing on Sunday.
President Maduro provided few details about the currency launch, and how he plans to revive the economic situation of his country. He outlined that the country will create a cryptocurrency, backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves.
He added, “The Petro would help Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”
Some of the opposition leaders ridiculed the announcement. They outlined it needs congressional approval. However, a few raised concerns if the cryptocurrency would see the light of the day amid the struggling economy.
Opposition leaders outlined the bolivar, its real currency, is in freefall. Moreover, the country is unable to fulfill basic needs such as food and medicine.
The U.S. had imposed sanctions against PDVSA executives, Venezuelan officials, and the country’s debt issuance. Compliance departments in the U.S. have been scrutinizing transactions related to Venezuela.
President Maduro’s announcement comes after the recent drastic growth of bitcoin. This growth outlined that the cryptocurrency is steadily gaining momentum 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.
Though Maduro thinks that such measures would uplift his country’s economy, opposition leaders have a different opinion altogether.