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Venezuela Announces Details of National Cryptocurrency



The government of Venezuela has released a decree, specifying the operation of the country’s national cryptocurrency – the Petro.

The said decree lists down the plans for the Petro including its issuance, mining, and trading.

The Petro will also be backed by five billion barrels of crude oil.

Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has allocated 5.3 billion barrels of crude oil worth $267 billion to support the nation’s cryptocurrency.

He first made the announcement of the said digital currency in early December.

During a weekly national radio and TV broadcast, he displayed a “document formalizing the provision of the certified Ayacucho oil field, No.1 in the Orinoco Petroleum Belt, for the support of El Petro cryptocurrency.”

Maduro confirmed that “every single Petro will be backed by a barrel of oil.”

“We will set up a special team of cryptocurrency specialists so they will be engaged in mining in all states and municipalities of our country,” he said.

The president also “promised to allocate Arco Minero gold deposits from the Orinoco Belt along with the country’s diamond deposits” to the currency.

The Cryptocurrency Superintendency and the National Blockchain Observatory will supervise the Petro’s creation and operation,.

Issuance and Trading Plans of Petro

The Maduro office has published a Gazette, which frameworks a decree comprised of 13 parts, meant as Articles.

Nearly half of them are about the operational details of the cryptocurrency.

Article 4 of the decree describes the assets backing the new currency, stating that the Petro “is about Venezuelan oil quoted in the OPEC basket, as well as other commodities, including gold, diamond, coltan, and gas.”

Moreover, each one “will have, as physical support, a purchase-sale contract for one (01) barrel of oil from the Venezuelan crude oil basket or any commodities that the nation decides.”

Article 5 details the nature of the wallets holding the cryptocurrency, as well as its convertibility, stating:

“The holder of the Petro may change the market value of the crypto-asset for the equivalent in another cryptocurrency or in Bolivares at the market exchange rate published by the national crypto-asset exchange house.

“The holder of each Petro will own a virtual wallet, which will be his [own] responsibility.”

The Gazette also offers some issuance details of the cryptocurrency and alludes to a possible initial coin offering (ICO).

“The initial placement will be made through auction or direct assignment, made by the Superintendence of the crypto-assets and related Venezuelan activities,” according to Article 8.

As for the launch, Maduro disclosed:

“In the month of January, I will be presenting all the conditions for the Petro to start operating.”

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