Venezuela to sell oil and gold for petro cryptocurrency, says Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that the country will sell oil and part of the gold it produces for its national cryptocurrency petro.

"We will sell Venezuelan oil in exchange for petros. We have already signed contracts for the sale of oil, steel, iron and aluminum, and we will sell part of the gold for petros,” Maduro told Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, as reported by Russian news agency TASS.

According to Maduro, the Venezuelan government is successfully introducing its cryptocurrency into citizens’ daily lives. He said that at least 6 million families in Venezuela have used petro as a payment method to purchase goods and services during the New Year holidays. The #PetroApp hashtag was also reportedly trending yesterday on Twitter in Venezuela.

Petro was announced in Oct. 2017, and its sales began in Feb. 2018. According to TASS, the price of one petro is equal to the price of a barrel of oil in Venezuela (WTI crude price is currently at around $63).

As petro is pegged to the price of oil, Maduro recently said that Venezuela would back the cryptocurrency with some 30 million barrels of crude oil sitting in the country’s storage tanks. The figure, however, is drastically down from 5 billion barrels announced at the time of the petro launch in Feb. 2018.