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News > Latin America

Venezuela: Petro Cryptocurrency Reaps US$5B in Pre-Sales

  • A Venezuelan security official stands in front of the Petro cryptocurrency logo.

    A Venezuelan security official stands in front of the Petro cryptocurrency logo. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 March 2018

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the Petro had strengthened the country's international reserves.

The Petro, the world's first national cryptocurrency based on natural resources, has generated sales over five billion dollars during its pre-sale period and has recorded over 186,000 certified purchases. The sale of the Petro has also significantly strengthened the country's foreign reserves amid increased international aggression. 

Venezuela: Petro Cryptocurrency to Be Sold to Private Exchanges

The announcement of the continued success of the cryptocurrency was made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a meeting with members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, in the Plaza Bolivar in Caracas on Friday. 

Maduro explained that the revenue generated from the sale of the Petro would be used to service "everything our country needs” and formed part of a wider "economic solution” the country's government had put together.

Data released by Carlos Vargas, Venezuela's Superintendent of Cryptocurrency and Related Activities, shows that over 83,000 persons in 127 countries have made certified purchase offers for the states cryptocurrency. 

The Petro, which was made available for presale on Feb. 20, is being used to counter U.S.-imposed sanctions and the economic war waged by Washington on the South American country. Maduro said the new digital coin aims to strengthen the country's "monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

With new cryptocurrency in place, the country's productive sector linked to the nation's strategic plan will be able to carry out purchases and sale operations of raw materials through digital assets.

For its part, the U.S. Treasury Department stated the Petro is a currency with characteristics that “appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government" – a measure forbidden by U.S. sanctions - and that "U.S. persons that deal in the prospective Venezuelan digital currency may be exposed to U.S. sanctions risk."

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