Venezuela Preps Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency in Petro Wake

Venezuela said it is preparing the launch of a gold-backed cryptocurrency after the presale of the Petro.

Fresh from the presale of its oil-backed cryptocurrency Petro, which generated $735 million on the first day for the struggling economy, Venezuela is planning to launch a gold-backed digital currency token.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told reporters on Wednesday:

“I don’t want to get ahead of things, but we have prepared a surprise, a gold-backed ‘petro,’ which will have the same parameters as the oil-backed ‘petro.’ This topic will be raised next week.”

Maduro’s regime is pinning its hope on the Petro since the local economy slumped along with oil prices and took an extra hit from US sanctions that block American investors from buying Venezuelan debt. The downward economic spiral has greatly contributed to domestic problems.

On Tuesday, Maduro launched the presale of the cryptocurrency which he claims would allow the country “to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

The president said during the launch:

“The Petro is born and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela.”

Maduro announced on national TV a formal decree launching the country’s asset-based cryptocurrency. The president said he was allocating a total of five billion barrels of oil for the Petro and planned to set the initial price at $60 per one unit of the currency.

Petro miners

Recruitment for mining the cryptocurrency commenced in January this year led by the Unique Registry of Digital Mining (URDM). Venezuela requires registration with the URDM for access to the Petro, whether you are a natural or legal person.

A government statement reads:

“Registration in the [URDM] will also guarantee those who are registered there, to be able to acquire any other type of free-use cryptocurrency and demand in Venezuela, as long as they are duly authorized.”

Mixed reactions on social media

The launch of the Petro triggered mixed reactions on social media. While some shared their reservations about the oil-backed cryptocurrency, others voiced approval.

Mariana Ribera, an employee at national communications company Infocentro, posted on Twitter:

“This initiative, this new South, gives us an endless range of options and opportunities in the national and international market, opening new horizons that have no limits.”

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