Venezuela hopes petro cryptocurrency to negate US economic blockade

CARACAS (Sputnik) - Venezuela expects its petro cryptocurrency to break the economic blockade imposed by the United States on the republic, the country’s minister for higher education, science and technology, Hugbel Roa, told Sputnik.

On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country had launched a national blockchain of the petro cryptocurrency. According to him, the new measures enable any Venezuelan to register in the blockchain and acquire petro for convertible currency.

"We expect to break the economic blockade. We, President Nicolas Maduro, drew on the ideas of Commander-in-Chief [late President)] Hugo Chavez while creating this amazing structure [Petro], and the world's largest rating agencies recognize that this is a great way to break the blockade organized by the United States," Roa said.

Meanwhile, the Bolivian republic's Agriculture Minister Wilmar Castro Soteldo said that Venezuela’s petro cryptocurrency is an "important instrument of liberation" for the national economy enabling global players to carry our transactions in the sanction-hit country without fear of subsequent penalties.

On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country had launched a national blockchain of the petro cryptocurrency. According to him, the new measures enable any Venezuelan to register in the blockchain and acquire petro for convertible currency.

"[Petro] is an opportunity for all global operators of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to carry out transactions in the country without fear of persecution, because I believe it is an important instrument of liberation," Castro Soteldo said.

The minister stressed that the Venezuelan government provided support to petro, including that "in legal terms."

Petro was released into circulation on February 20, and is the first oil-backed cryptocurrency in the world. One petro equals one barrel of Venezuelan oil, or $60.

Since August 20, Venezuela has had two currencies ― petro and the sovereign bolivar, which was introduced to replace the bolivar over its hyperinflation caused by falling oil prices and general economic crisis in the country. The bolivar also remains in use for the transition period.