Venezuela, financially and economically depressed, was the first country to launch a state-owned cryptocurrency, the so-called “Petro”. “We have our cryptocurrency,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on the night of Wednesday on state television. He also said that on Tuesday, the first day of pre-sale, the new Petro pre-orders in a volume of 735 million US dollars have been received.
The government of Venezuela wants to fight with the new crypto currency against the severe economic crisis in the country. Among other things, economic sanctions in the US are making life difficult for the South American country with its leftist government.
Maduro also said on state television that key state-owned companies, including oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), are required to handle an unspecified portion of their purchases and sales in the cryptocurrency Petro. According to the head of government, domestic airlines can pay their petrol in Petro. In addition, the cryptocurrency can be used in consular services and tourism services.
The new currency is hedged with the country’s huge oil reserves. At the beginning, five billion barrels of oil (159 liters each) are reported as safety for the Petro. Venezuela is the world’s most oil-rich country and has reserves of 267 billion barrels.
For some time now, Venezuela has suffered from a severe economic crisis with galloping inflation, one of the highest in the world. Recently, there have been repeated reports about shortcomings in food, medicines and everyday necessities.