Maduro is pushing his “petro” cryptocurrency agenda along despite vivid criticism from the United States (its biggest creditor) and from his own government. Indeed, Venezuela’s president began informal discussions with members of OPEC – of which Venezuela is part along with 14 other countries. The pre-mined digital currency is to be backed by over 5 billion oil barrels and released in 100 million units on February 20th.
In hopes of gaining access to foreign currency, the inflation-ridden country is scrambling to attract investors and will start by offering 38.4 million petros for a significant discount, just to get the ball rolling. This much needed liquidity is expected to alleviate the crisis that is ravaging the country, but the United States Treasury is worried that this move will only extend Venezuela’s credit and allow it to avoid sanctions.
Regardless, the heterogeneity of OPEC member countries make Maduro’s plan difficult to achieve. In fact, each country appears to have its own opinion about digital currencies, including Nigeria that thinks that they are simply a bluff and Iraq that is looking into its own personal solution.