Venezuela to launch new cryptocurrency ‘petro’
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that his country will be introducing a new cryptocurrency to battle the US financial “blockade.”
“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency… the ‘petro,’ to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade,” said Maduro in his weekly televised broadcast on Sunday.
He added that it will be backed by natural resources reserves without providing further details.
Maduro’s move comes at a time that the cryptocurrency known as bitcoin has soared to an all-time high of well above $11,000 on major exchanges and digital currency indexes.
Created in 2009, bitcoin uses encryption and a blockchain database that enables the fast and anonymous transfer of funds outside of a traditional centralized payment system.
It has increased more than 10-fold in value so far this year, posting the largest gain of all asset classes, amid increased institutional demand for cryptocurrencies as financial and mainstream use has expanded.