Venezuelan President Announces Issuance of $5.9 Billion Worth of Petro Cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on January 5, 2018, that his country intends to issue 100 million Petro crypto coins really soon.

This announcement, according to Reuters, took place during the president’s appearance on national television.

The president was quoted saying:

“I have ordered the emission of 100 million Petros with the legal sustenance of Venezuela’s certified and legalized oil wealth.”

He also added that each crypto coin would have an equal value of around  $59 or equivalent to the cost of one oil barrel in Venezuela.

According to OPEC, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. The country also makes some 95% of its export revenue from oil. However, its government has been caught in several issues after it allegedly squandered wealth from a decade-long oil boom.

The announcement of issuing cryptocurrency was made just days before 2018.  Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez broke the news at a press conference broadcast on the national television on December 28, 2017, saying,

“It is a matter of days before we announce the first issuance of the ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency.”

The government sees the use and issuance of its own cryptocurrency as viable means to help the crisis-hit country which is currently facing diplomatic isolation. Moreover, Rodriquez also pointed out that this could be a way for the country to protect itself from attacks stemming from the international financial system.

In connection to this new cryptocurrency, the President also revealed that there are now more than 800,000 young Venezuelans who have signed up to help mine the cryptocurrency.

The president calls this team as “special cryptocurrency team” and will be tasked to set up mining farms across the country.