Venezuela to issue $5.9b in oil-backed cryptocurrency

| Updated: January 07, 2018 11:20:17

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro. File Photo (Collected) Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro. File Photo (Collected)

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro said that they would issue 100 million units of its new oil-backed cryptocurrency in coming days.

He announced to issue the cryptocurrency when the OPEC member is going through a deep economic crisis, reports Reuters.

The President announced the launch of the cryptocurrency last month to be backed by Venezuela’s oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves.

Maduro specified on Friday that each unit of the currency would be pegged to Venezuela’s oil basket, which this week averaged $59.07 per barrel, according to the oil ministry.

That implies the total cryptocurrency issued would be worth just over $5.9 billion.

Maduro says the cryptocurrency will usher in the “21st century” and boost Venezuela’s access to hard currency.

 “I have ordered the emission of 100 million petros with the legal sustenance of Venezuela’s certified and legalized oil wealth,” said Maduro in a state television address.

“Every petro will be equal in value to Venezuela’s oil barrel,” he said.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, according to OPEC, and makes some 95 per cent of its export revenue from oil.

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