Venezuela, a country plagued by inflationary pressures in recent years, announced that it was going to launch an oil "cryptocurrency" called "Petro". in an attempt to consolidate its struggling economy. The announcement comes as a result of the massive adoption of Bitcoin in the nation.
The announcement made by President Maduro was greeted with cheers from the crowd, as the leader said that for Venezuela, the 21st century has arrived However, the leaders of the US opposition suggested that cryptocurrency would require congressional approval and would probably never see the light of day
The country's rapidly declining currency, the Bolivar, is at least partly the result of financial sanctions imposed by the United States. Maduro hopes that a cryptocurrency would allow money to enter the country through channels that are not currently accessible by other governments. Maduro said the new cryptocurrency would enable the country to:
"Advancing monetary sovereignty, making financial transactions and overcoming the financial blockade."
While such cryptocurrency could potentially offer a way of bypassing the country's government, attaching it to oil, gas and diamond reserves can prove extremely complex. Some opposition leaders suggest that Maduro could seek to repay outstanding international debts with the national currency.