The new Bitcoin-like Petro is intended to help relieve the country's struggling economy.
(CCM) — The nation of Venezuela has unveiled its own Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency called the Petro, according to a BBC report.
The country's existing currency, the Bolivar, has plummeted in value over the last few years because the fall in the world oil price has sent Venezuela's revenues crashing down. "The 21st Century has arrived!" said President Maduro when he announced the Petro, although he gave no details about how or when it will be launched.
The new currency is being created to help ease the country's economic crisis, the report says, and the new currency will be backed by Venezuela's wealth of natural resources including oil, gas, gold, and diamonds. Venezuela owes about $140 billion to foreign creditors, and the country may hope that it can pay them with newly-created Petros instead of U.S. dollars, according to the report.
President Madura will be hoping that his cryptocurrency is met with the same enthusiasm as Bitcoin, the value of which has exploded this year from $1,000 to more than $11,000, and Ethereum, another cryptocurrency which has shot up to more than $450 from less than $10 a year ago.
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