President claims digital currency called the petro will be backed by Venezuelan reserves of gold, petroleum, gas, and diamonds
President Nicolas Maduro has said Venezuela would launch a cryptocurrency to combat a US-led fiscal “blockade,” although he provided few clues about how the economically crippled Opec member would pull off the feat.
” Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency … the’ petro ,’ to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to attain financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade ,” leftist Maduro said during his weekly Sunday broadcasted broadcast.
The digital currency will be backed by Venezuelan reserves of gold, petroleum, gas, and diamonds, he said during the near five-hour display, which included traditional Christmas sungs and dancing.
” The 21 st century has arrived !” Maduro added to cheers, without specifics about the currency launch.
Opposition leaders scorned the proclamation, which they said required congressional acceptance, and some casting doubt on whether the digital currency would ever see the light of day in tumultuous Venezuela.
Still, the announcement highlights how US sanctions this year are hurting Venezuela’s ability to move fund through international banks. Sources say conformity departments are scrutinising transactions links between Venezuela, which has slowed some bond pays and complicated certain oil exports.
Maduro’s move away from the US dollar comes after the recent spectacular rise of bitcoin, which has been fuelled by signs that the digital currency is slowly gaining traction in the mainstream investment world.