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News > Latin America

Venezuela Opens Petro Currency Training Center for Citizens

  • The new Venezuelan cryptocurrency

    The new Venezuelan cryptocurrency "Petro" logo is seen at a facility of the Youth and Sports Ministry in Caracas, Venezuela Feb. 23, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 February 2018

The cryptocurrency training school offers courses on the Petro to Venezuelans for free.

The Venezuelan government has opened a training center to teach its citizens about cryptocurrencies just days after the government launched its own version of a virtual coin, the Petro.

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At the Granja Laboratorio Petro School in Caracas, Venezuelans can learn how to buy, sell and mine cryptocurrencies and how the cryptoeconomy works.

"What we hope to do with this, primarily, is to make knowledge accessible like any new methodology or technology,” Carmen Salvador, Venezuelan teacher of cryptocurrency trading, told Reuters in a video interview Friday.

“Often times, access is difficult for those that don't have resources, so we've designed this plan with a completely free training, and in any international market a trading course cost more than $500 to $800. Many of our young people here find it impossible to have this amount of resources, [but] the Venezuelan state is guaranteeing that all can participate through these plans."

The Venezuelan government issued the digital currency earlier this week in response to the financial sanctions applied by the United States and European Union, which prevent its citizens from acquiring new debt from the oil nation and limited the movements of Caracas' money in global banking.

Iran, Russia Consider Developing Own Cryptocurrencies

The Venezuelan cybercurrency has generated massive interest among the tech and international communities despite foreign experts having low expectations about its success.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that his government has raised US$1 billion in the first two days of the Petro sale, while its website received almost one million visited over the same period.

Salvador showed the reporters the different tech equipment they have at the school that is being used for mining the currency including five ASIC, application-specific integrated circuit, and seven PeriCoin mining machines. He added that his team has been mining for almost 15 days.

The cryptocurrency has also generated interest in several countries, such as Colombia, China, Spain and Palestine after the Venezuelan government launched a private presale of 38.4 million Petros of the total 100 million released, which will extend until March 19.

Cryptocurrencies typically are not backed by any government or central banks, nor are they regulated. However, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission has been increasingly tracking digital currencies, classifying some tokens as securities, thus making them subject to oversight.

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