Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro proposes an oil-backed joint cryptocurrency to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in a move to strengthen Venezuela’s new digital currency, the Petro.
The Venezuelan government decided to create the Petro last Dec.3 to counter the economic blockade imposed by the United States and Europe, which is having a harsh economic and social effect on the people of Venezuela.
The Petro, backed by the country’s oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, aims to guarantee Venezuelan access to the international market and basic goods it has been denied by the economic blockade. So far, 860,000 Venezuelans have signed up to be part of the South American nation’s “mining” team.
During an interview, Tuesday Maduro claimed he is “going to officially propose to all OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries that we adopt a joint cryptocurrency mechanism backed by oil.”
Investors from Poland, Denmark, Honduras, Norway, Brazil and Vietnam have already expressed interest in the digital currency.
The U.S. has already tried to boycott the Venezuelan Petro. In January, U.S. Treasury spokesperson warned purchasing the Petro would violate sanctions against Venezuela, saying it “would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government.”
The U.S. government has pressured the Venezuelan people and its government through economic sanctions and for over three years and is now threatening to orchestrate an oil embargo. A measure that has already been rejected by the Mexican government.
Venezuela has announced 38.4 million Petros will be released on Feb. 20.