Today, Nicolas Maduro is set to convene a meeting of miners of his country’s new oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. Caracas
Today, Nicolas Maduro is set to convene a meeting of miners of his country’s new oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. Caracas plans to issue 100 million coins in coming weeks.
Announced last month, one petro will equal one barrel of Venezuelan oil––about $50. The currency will allow foreign buyers to purchase oil by circumventing sanctions placed on Venezuela over its human rights abuses and increasingly authoritarian government.
The opposition-controlled parliament has decried the petro as “illegal” and questioned its likelihood of success. Regardless, the president will press on with the launch.
For Venezuela, a successful launch could bring in money to a financially-desperate government; however, the petro will not ameliorate structural economic ills. Globally, other countries will look to see if there is merit in launching their own asset-backed, government-endorsed digital currencies. Even if Maduro fails to beef up his economy, he could be setting a trend that could see cryptocurrency lose its unregulated character if governments take control.
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