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Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Venezuela to create new 'petro' cryptocurrency — Maduro

Venezuela to create new 'petro' cryptocurrency — Maduro

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Maduro, who took office in 2013 and has presided over the aggravation of the socio-economic crisis, said that the cryptocurrency would help the country overcome the financial "blockade", according to a statement published on the government's official website.

"Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency", backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a five-hour showcase of Christmas songs and dancing. Maduro added that the petro would support the nation to advance in areas of financial sovereignty, to move past financial obstructions and to make successful financial transactions.

Everyday Venezuelans have to face long lines at cash machines to withdraw the country's currency, the bolivar, which is in short supply, the New York Times reported.

The announcement shows how sanctions enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration this year hurt the country's ability to move money through the worldwide banking system.

In his words, "This will allow us to advance toward new forms of global financing for the economic and social development of our country". As a result, the minimum wage per month has dropped to a meager $4.30.

Reuters reports that compliance departments are scrutinizing transactions linked to Venezuela, which is in turn slowing down bond payments and thwarting oil exports.

Maduro blames his country's economic woes on a conspiracy to overthrow him combined with USA economic sanctions, but he intends for a new petrocurrency to overcome those sanctions.

Opposition leaders criticised the announcement, which needs congressional approval in order to become government policy. The commodity-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, is unlikely to bring them any immediate relief.

Venezuela will create a new cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves and other natural resources, President Nicolas Maduro said.

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