Venezuela’s cryptocurrency raises $735m in first day

21 Feb 18

Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency raised $735m in the first day of a pre-sale, president Nicolas Maduro said yesterday.  

The government currency, dubbed Petro, is aimed at pulling the country out of economic turmoil and will go public next month.

About 100m tokens - worth around $6bn - were issued yesterday in the pre-sale and a limited number of people were able to buy them.

The president said on Tuesday: “Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman.”

The official website for the Petro also published a guide to setting up a ‘virtual wallet’ [which serves as a place to hold money online] to hold the cryptocurrency.

Moduro said the cryptocurrency will help fight off the effects of US-led sanctions and is backed by the country’s oil reserves.

Speaking last week, the president said: “The centre of financial policy will be the consolidation of the Petro.

“This cryptocurrency is the future of humanity. Venezuela has entered the future.”

Each of the 100m Petro tokens were to be backed by one barrel of the country’s oil.

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