Venezuela: New Cryptocurrency Can't Rescue Caracas

Nicolas Maduro Venezuela's president addresses members of the media during a press event in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela's new bitcoin: an ingenious plan or worthless cryptocurrency?

Maduro has repeatedly said that his country is the victim of an "economic war" - prompted by financial sanctions imposed by the United States - and that the sale of the new digital currency will help the country circumvent this problem.

President Nicolas Maduro announced in early December that Venezuela - which is under sanctions from the U.S. as well as the European Union - was creating the digital currency. On the other hand, the opposition leaders of Venezuela have also snubbed this move by saying "the sale constitutes an illegal debt issuance that circumvents Venezuela's majority-opposition legislature, and the U.S. Treasury Department has warned it may violate sanctions levied previous year", reports Reuters.

"Petro is born, and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela", President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday.

Raising further doubts, Mr.

So they created a new one.

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Ledezma is no longer considered a key player in Venezuela's fractured opposition, but he had been an iconic Maduro rival when he was under house arrest before fleeing the country.

"You can not stop hyperinflation by creating a new currency and doing nothing else", Mr. Leidenz said.

While polls show the majority of Venezuelans plan to head to the polls, they overwhelming indicate they are apathetic about the current opposition field, which is lead by former governor Henri Falcon.

The cryptocurrency will attract investments from Turkey, Qatar, the US, Europe, the country's crypto-currency regulator, Carlos Vargas, the government's cryptocurrency superintendent, told reporters.

The cryptocurrency will be stored in a virtual wallet users can acquire after registering online. The cryptocurrency goes public next month.

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Despite worldwide isolation, broad unpopularity and scarce food and medicine in the country, Maduro has strengthened his hold on power by sidelining the opposition and excluding it from recent local and state elections.

The tokens will each be valued at and backed by a barrel of Venezuelan crude oil, Maduro has said.

Advisers working for the government have in the past recommended that 38.4% of the petros should be sold in a private auction at a discount of 60%.

The Bitcoin-esque petro (the code for which is "PTR") is part of a drive to overcome the U.S.'s economic blockade against Venezuela and rescue the national economy.

Yet questions remain about which network the token will operate within, given that one document released today highlights the ethereum network, while another, constituting a buyer's guide, cites an alternative blockchain system called NEM.

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