The President of troubled Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, is pushing forward with the creation of the state-backed cryptocurrency, Petro, backing it with billions of crude oil barrels as well as gold and diamonds.
During a speech on the country’s national television network, President Maduro confirmed that Venezuela’s first cryptocurrency would be backed by five billion barrels of crude oil. He also showed a document that provisions the certified Ayacucho oil field No.1 in the Orinoco Petroleum Belt for the support of the Petro cryptocurrency.
Maduro said that the field’s reserves amount to approximately five billion barrels of oil and he added:
Every single Petro will be backed by a barrel of oil. We will set up a special team of cryptocurrency specialists so they will be engaged in mining in all states and municipalities of our country.
In addition to oil, Maduro has stated that gold deposits from the Arco Minero del Orinoco belt, as well as diamonds from the country’s natural reserve, will also be supporting the digital currency.
As reported by JustCryptoNews, Maduro announced his intention to enter the crypto market by creating a state-owned cryptocurrency, the Petro or El Petro. Maduro has noted at the time that the creation of the state-controlled crypto is a way to “innovate toward new forms of international finance for the economic and social development of the country.”
The crypto industry has grown exponentially in Venezuela while the country’s economy suffers high levels of inflation. The regime's problems are magnified by the introduction of US-led financial sanctions. Maduro has stated previously that one of the purposes of the Petro is to “advance the country’s monetary sovereignty, to carry out financial transactions and to defeat the financial blockade against the country.” Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Venezuelans protest over pork shortage.