Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro has recently announced that within one week, the county is going to launch a new cryptocurrency, the Petro Gold. The cryptocurrency, according to local news source Telesur, will be backed by precious metals. Notably, Maduro’s announcement was made Wednesday (Feb. 21), one day after Venezuela launched its oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro.
As covered by CCN, the Petro (PTR) was announced back in December, as a way for the country to bypass sanctions and fight an “economic war” with the United States. The Petro’s pre-sale is currently ongoing, and according to Maduro it’s already netted $735 million, although he didn’t back this claim with any evidence.
Shortly after the Petro was announced, Venezuela’s opposition-run congress criticized the cryptocurrency’s sale, as an “illegal and unconstitutional” instrument to mortgage the country’s oil reserves. The US warned that citizens who bought the cryptocurrency could be violating the sanctions, while investors voiced concerns over Venezuela’s solvency and transparency.
Yet, in a televised speech, Maduro revealed a Petro Gold is on the way:
“Next week I‘m going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro.”
It isn’t clear if the Venezuelan leader is referring to the gold reserves in the central bank, or to an undeveloped mineral deposit. Other details about the cryptocurrency haven’t yet been revealed.
According to Telesur, investors from Brasil, Denmark, Honduras, Poland, Norway, and the Middle East have expressed interest in the Petro, either in accepting it as a form of payment, or investing in it.
Cryptocurrency investors are trying to figure out what to make of the new cryptocurrency, the Petro Gold. Speaking to Reuters, founder of cryptoasset investment firm Redwood City Ventures Sean Walsh revealed it was hard to reach a conclusion without any details, but added he wasn’t interested in tokens backed by physical assets. He stated:
“Rather than buying a cryptocurrency backed by gold, I’d just go buy the gold. Gold is a physical thing that you want to be able to hold in your hands, because that’s the point.”
Venezuela is currently facing one of the deepest recessions ever seen. Citizens are forced to use cryptocurrencies to survive, as the country’s fiat currency has plunged in value.