Venezuela Plans a Cryptocurrency, Maduro Says

Venezuela is choosing cryptocurrency over the U.S. dollar

Venezuela is choosing cryptocurrency over the U.S

"This will allow us to advance toward new forms of global financing for the economic and social development of our country", he said.

Maduro announced in a televised address the currency will be backed by oil, gas and diamond reserves, declaring to cheers "the 21st century has arrived!" in the struggling socialist state, Reuters reported.

The announcement shows how sanctions enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration this year hurt the country's ability to move money through the global banking system.

Some of the opposition leaders ridiculed the announcement.

Opposition leaders outlined the bolivar, its real currency, is in freefall.

After details about the cryptocurrency first surfaced over the weekend, Maduro said the petro would help Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade".

Maduro blames his country's economic woes on a conspiracy to overthrow him combined with US economic sanctions, but he intends for a new petrocurrency to overcome those sanctions.

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President Maduro's announcement comes after the recent drastic growth of bitcoin.

The announcement came as a surprise to some of the followers of cryptocurrencies, as conventional cryptocurrencies are not backed by governments or central banks.

Avowed Marxist and member of the constituent assembly Jesus Faria has called for changes to monetary policy that would lead to free global exchange.

"It's Maduro being a clown".

Currency controls and excessive money printing have led to a 57 percent depreciation of the bolivar against the dollar in the last month alone on the widely used black market.

According to opposition leaders and economists, Maduro, who was previously a union leader and bus driver, has carelessly refused to alter Venezuela's restrictions and curtail the severe economic meltdown.

Maduro views it as a fight against a Washington-backed conspiracy to sabotage his government and put an end to socialism in Latin America, and went as far as declaring a financial "world war".

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