Petro: Venezuela Becomes First Country to Launch Virtual Currency

Venezuela on 21st February 2018 became the first country to launch its own cryptocurrency. Within hours on the market, investors bought petro worth $735 million (approximately Rs 4,889 crore). Government’s plans to launch the petro to counter the sanctions that the United States imposed on Venezuela after the president won an election that was widely believed to be rigged. The sanctions sent the already crippled Venezuelan economy spiralling even further inflation soared, food shortages worsened and the value of the bolivar to the US dollar plunged.

Highlights:-
1. The launch comes at a time the Indian government and its central bank has warned against dealing in bitcoin, the most-preferred cryptocurrency worldwide.
2. Virtual currencies have no legal or government backing.
3. Venezuelans will be able to pay taxes and for public services using petros.
4. In the first year, the Venezuelan government will release 100 million petros.
5. The rest 17.6 million coins will be retained by Venezuelan Superintendency of Currency and Related Activities (SUPCACVEN).
6. Venezuelan government is planning to launch another cryptocurrency based on gold called Petro Gold which will be backed by gold.
7. Petro Gold will be powerful and is aimed to strengthen Petro.

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