Venezuela — which yesterday opened pre-sales for its oil-backed cryptocurrency the petro — has claimed the digital tokens have already raised $735m. The South American country is battling against hyper inflation and US sanctions and hoped to bypass both problems with the petro. The cryptocurrency goes public next month, for now it is available only to institutional investors.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro made the claim directly from his official Twitter account, however he offered no evidence to back up the claim. The petro is backed by Venezuela’s crude oil reserves, the largest in the world, though much of the oil remains underground. The tokens will each be valued at and backed by a barrel of oil. Maduro said:
Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman.
We have taken a giant step into the 21st Century. We are on the world’s technological vanguard.
Maduro adds that the petro is the “kryptonite” Venezuela needs to take on Superman — meaning the US.
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