Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants his own version of Bitcoin, announcing Sunday that his socialist government will create a cryptocurrency.
Maduro said on his television show that the new “petrocurrency” will be backed by reserves in oil, gas, gold, and diamonds, Bloomberg reports. Bitcoin, the world’s largest digital currency, hit new highs last week, and Maduro declared that his plan will counteract the economic disaster that is befalling the Venezuelan bolivar, which has experienced hyperinflation as the country’s economy has collapsed.
Maduro blames his country’s economic woes on a conspiracy to overthrow him combined with U.S. economic sanctions, but he intends for a new petrocurrency to overcome those sanctions.
The currency would help Venezuela “to advance in monetary sovereignty, carry out its financial transactions to overcome the financial blockade,” according to Maduro.
“This will allow us to advance toward new forms of international financing for the country’s social and economic development,” he added.
The value of Bitcoin crossed $11,000 last week and has attracted major hedge fund investors, further establishing the prominence of cryptocurrencies in global markets. Some have charged that cryptocurrencies enable criminal activity, but Maduro sees it as a possibility to escape sanctions that have followed political crackdowns by his regime.
President Donald Trump declared Maduro’s government a dictatorship when he announced financial sanctions against it in August.
Full article: Maduro to Create Venezuelan Cryptocurrency ‘To Overcome the Financial Blockade’ (Washington Free Beacon)