Venezuela will sell oil and part of the gold it produces for its national petro cryptocurrency, the country’s President Nicolas Maduro said.
He told local newspaper El Nacional: “We will sell Venezuelan oil in exchange for petros. We already sell Venezuela’s iron ore and steel for petros.
“We have already signed contracts for the sale of oil, steel, iron and aluminum, and we will sell part of the gold for petros.”
According to Maduro, the government is successfully introducing its cryptocurrency into Venezuelans’ daily lives – although many experts claim otherwise.
In December, the country’s authorities transferred benefits in petros timed to the New Year holidays to pensioners and public sector employees.
The Petro is a marvel and a miracle that reaches our workers and retired workers of the country in order to make their purchases. It is a unique and extraordinary new experience of our economy. We are an example to the world! pic.twitter.com/XNzbINfOsp
— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) December 29, 2019
Maduro announced the launch of the national petro cryptocurrency in October 2017. Its sales began on February 20 2018. Its cost is equal to the price of a barrel of oil produced in the country.
Millions of Venezuelans have left their country since 2013 as its economy crashed, with schools and hospitals unable to provide basic services.
They fled to neighbouring countries such as Peru, which has given residency to nearly 70,000 Venezuelans.
In September Coin Rivet’s Christina Comben wrote about how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dash have been gaining a lot of traction in Venezuela as a result of the economic turmoil.
In July 2019 Maduro ordered the country’s largest bank to open special desks for the nation’s cryptocurrency.
The South American leader issued a state order instructing the Banco de Venezuela to accommodate the Petro at all 790 of its branches.
Many cybersecurity experts say the Petro, developed with help from Russia, is an attempt to evade US sanctions.
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