President Nicholas Maduro is not letting up on his plans to entrench El Petro, the cryptocurrency project he launched earlier in the year. Plans are now underway to launch a youth bank to be fully funded by the Petro according to the controversial leader.
Local media reports indicate the youth bank will receive 20 million Petros to set it up. Venezuela was the first country to launch a national cryptocurrency.
A further 1.2 billion dollars will be availed to allow it operate “optimally” a statement said. The oil-backed petro has been at the eye of a storm both locally and internationally since it was launched in January.
Maduro has recently provided incentives for oil purchases done using the El Petro. Critics have however equated the project to mortgaging the country’s vast mineral resources. Maduro is planning to launch another digital currency backed by the country’s gold deposits.
The Petro is widely seen as a clever way to circumvent damaging US sanctions on the country. The bolivar is hardly functional with inflation rates as high as 14000%, the world’s highest at the moment.
Universities to Develop Mining Rigs
In an effort to develop a full crypto ecosystem, the president has even urged universities to develop mining rigs and for his countrymen to develop mining farms as a way of supporting the country’s economy.
A section of government officials has previously condemned the cryptocurrency as illegal and unconstitutional.
The country’s central bank is now authorized to receive payments for the country’s exports in petro.
Maduro has been hitting back at critics saying Venezuela should be allowed to chart its own cause.
“Why does Venezuela have to be persecuted for trying to create a source of financing for its development, its happiness, for peace and economic expansion? The petro will continue its course, and nobody will be able to stop our cryptocurrency,” he said according to Telesur state news agency.
Details as to how the bank will exactly function are still scanty.
The Marshalls Island is one other country developing cryptocurrencies. Dubai has also launched its digital currency called emCash to be used for making payments.