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  • The new Venezuelan cryptocurrency the Petro logo is seen as Minister for University Education, Science and Technology Hugbel Roa talks to the media.

    The new Venezuelan cryptocurrency the Petro logo is seen as Minister for University Education, Science and Technology Hugbel Roa talks to the media. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 February 2018

The Venezuelan government, which says the petro will help skirt financial sanctions by Washington, has scheduled the first petros sale for Tuesday.

Venezuela's new “Petro” cryptocurrency has attracted interest and investments from Turkey, Qatar, European countries and even the United States according to the digital currency's regulator.

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Carlos Vargas, Venezuela's Cryptocurrency Superintendent said, “On Tuesday, there will be quite a few announcements about the start of the process. And there will surely be a lot of investors from Qatar, Turkey and other parts of the Middle East, though Europeans and Americans will also participate.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the launch of the "Petro" in December. Maduro has repeatedly said that his country is the victim of an “economic war” prompted by financial sanctions imposed by the United States and that the sale of the new digital currency will help the South American country circumvent this problem.

The Venezuelan government, which says the petro will help skirt financial sanctions by Washington, has scheduled the first petros sale for Tuesday.

Sanctions imposed by officials in Washington effectively block Venezuela from borrowing abroad to bring in new hard currency or refinance existing debt, according to Reuters.

Venezuela's Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities, as well as the Blockchain Observatory, will regulate how the Petro functions. Maduro has also backed the new cryptocurrency with 5 billion of barrels of oil reserves, according to Bitcoin.com.
"This is going to allow us to move forward to new ways of international financing for the country's economic and social development," Maduro said.

He affirmed that the aim of the new digital currency is to combat sanctions by the U.S. government and its junior partners, all the while advancing “in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”
Cryptocurrencies typically are not backed by any government or central banks, nor are they regulated. However, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission has been increasingly tracking digital currencies, classing some tokens as securities, thus making them subject to oversight.


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