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Venezuela's Cryptocurrency Endeavour

The South American nation of Venezuela has suffered an economic crisis for the last few years. The country has been burdened with astronomical levels of national debt that has stifled the country’s economy. Social unrest has been rife in this Spanish speaking state over the last year, mostly due to the weakness of the country’s primary currency The Venezuelan Bolívar. This social unrest has resulted in protests by citizens, riots on the streets, and many mass-demonstrations over topics such as food shortages, lack of basic medical services and high levels of unemployment.
Venezuela obtains a large portion of its GDP per annum from its business in the petroleum industry. Venezuela has the rights to millions of gallons of petrol, all extracted off the coast of the country and then sold, as crude-oil (pre refinement) to countries all around the world. However with the recent lowering of oil prices, the Venezuelan government has seen economic losses that have had ripple effects across the entire country. As mentioned above, many citizens now face daily-struggles that would be more at a place in a third world country than in a petrol-rich, ex-economic juggernaut like Venezuela.
Yet here’s where the information about cryptocurrencies comes in. President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro stated last year that his government was in the process of creating their own new cryptocurrency. This move was seen by many financial experts around the globe as an attempt to ‘jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon’, or ride the current cryptocurrency high, whilst also trying to pull the nation out of a spiralling economic downfall. However, it is also rumoured that this move into the world of cryptocurrencies has been done to dodge economic sanctions imposed on the country, bringing another stream of revenue into the country that can go unmonitored by many international agencies.
It was announced previously that this cryptocurrency would tie into the country’s petrol shares, and that each unit of the new Petro-based cryptocurrency would have its groundings in barrels of oil. One unit of the cryptocurrency would be worth one barrel of crude oil, straight from the shores of this currently desperate nation. Experts believe that this new petro-cryptocurrency has the potential to bring approximately six billion dollars to the nation. This equation is based on the principle that Venezuela currently has approx. 100 million barrels of oil stored in reserves.
This new Petro-currency is planned to go live next month, on February 20th, with the full support of the Venezuelan government behind it. Experts in the industry are currently torn as to whether this new currency will make its way into the global market successfully. Pre-sale for the cryptocurrency has already begun and sources report mining sites have already been set up in different institutions around the country despite the disapproval of this endeavour from both Venezuelan opposition parties and U.S. senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez.
 

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