Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is attempting to implement the world’s first gold and commodity-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. American sanctions have crippled cash flow to Caracas by preventing oil sales in dollars.
“We will sell Venezuelan oil in exchange for petros. We already sell Venezuela’s iron ore and steel for petros. We have already signed contracts for the sale of oil, steel, iron and aluminum, and we will sell part of the gold for petros,” El Nacional newspaper quotes him as saying.
According to Maduro, the government is successfully introducing its cryptocurrency into Venezuelans’ daily lives. In December, the country’s authorities transferred benefits in petros timed to the New Year holidays to pensioners and public sector employees, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Maduro announced the launch of the national petro cryptocurrency in October 2017. Its sales began on February 20, 2018. Its cost is equal to the price of a barrel of oil produced in the country.
Russia, Iran, China, and Venezuela have searched for ways to remove the U.S. dollar from their economies, and in turn remove the threat of American sanctions from business transactions.
It remains to be seen if counterparties will accepts the crypto for payment.