Maduro: Digital currency puts Venezuela on tech vanguard

22 February, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Sheri Evans
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Maduro plans on issuing 100 million petros at an initial value set at $60, backed by 100 million barrels of oil reserves - Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves. "We are on the world's technological vanguard".

Maduro announced in early December that Venezuela - which is under sanctions from the United States, as well as the European Union - was creating the digital currency.

Maduro was expected to announce further details with the digital coin's official launch Tuesday evening and has touted the petro as the fulfillment of the late Hugo Chavez's dream of upending global capitalism away from the dominance of the US dollar and Wall Street.

Raising further doubts, Mr.

Jean-Paul Leidenz, a senior economist at Caracas-based EcoAnalitica said that the idea of having a state-owned cryptocurrency itself is flawed as it violates the absolute nature of a "decentralized" financial system.

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Bezeq's controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch is also in custody, along with his wife, son and other top Bezeq executives. Filber was appointed by Netanyahu in 2015, after the prime minister installed himself as communications minister.

The use of computers for bitcoin mining has also taken off, spurred by some of the world's cheapest electricity rates and widespread desperation prompted by a recession deeper than the U.S. Great Depression. Leidenz further added that "You can not stop hyperinflation by creating a new currency and doing nothing else".

Venezuelan's major opposition groups edged closer Tuesday to an all-out boycott of an upcoming presidential election, warning the vote won't be free or fair.

Here is what we know about the new currency.

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 presale was launched Tuesday and is planned to last into next month.

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Despite global 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 oil-backed "Petro" is meant to bolster the country's crumbling economy, which has been suffering from hyperinflation and devaluation for years.

The opposition coalition is expected to boycott the April presidential poll, because they believe it is rigged to ensure Maduro's re-election despite his unpopularity and a crushing national economic crisis.

Sanctions levied past year by Washington block US banks and investors from acquiring newly issued Venezuelan debt, effectively preventing the nation from borrowing overseas to bring in new hard currency or refinance existing debt.

CoinDesk highlighted some of the contradictory details regarding the token - while one documents talks about Ethereum network, another cites NEM blockchain.

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