Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, just made a bold statement regarding his oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro Coin.
The Petro Coin
Maduro appeared on the national VTV channel today and delivered a speech about his country’s latest economic issues. According to VTV’s official website, Maduro said:
“The Petro enters the street, as a currency of exchange, purchase and convertible currencies for the world.”
However, the Venezuelan president didn’t specify the areas where the Petro will be used. Maduro also didn’t name any countries willing to accept the Petro Coin.
This oil-backed cryptocurrency was first introduced back in February of 2018. In the beginning, 82.4 million Petros were available for purchase with top cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies—excluding the Venezuelan Bolivars. The President even went as far as making it a requirement for some state-owned businesses to convert a percentage of their sales into Petros.
Venezuela has been in a long recession and its currency, the Bolivar, has seen extreme and rising inflation. Many global leaders believe that Maduro is using the Petro Coin as a way for other countries to buy their debt. The Petro is a desperate attempt to pull his country from its economic and humanitarian crisis.
Even leaders and lawmakers in his own country have deemed the coin “illegal.” Venezuelan Representative, Rafael Guzman, said, “This deepens the crisis that we are living in. The PTR is another [example] of corruption, and we will come out of this crisis with measures that we have announced from this Parliament.”
While it seems the President has stuck to his guns about the Petro Coin, it remains still unknown if anyone will even accept the Petro. The US has had sanctions against Venezuela since mid-March and US banks will not be accepting any Venezuelan debt anytime soon.
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