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Venezuela unveils oil-backed crypto currency
Last Updated: 2017-12-04 15:46 | Xinhua
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday announced the creation of a crypto currency, backed by the world's largest oil reserves, to counter U.S. sanctions that choke off his country's access to dollars.

"Venezuela is going to create a crypto currency, a petro currency, to make progress in the area of monetary sovereignty," Maduro said during his regularly scheduled weekly broadcast.

"This is going to allow us to move towards new forms of international financing for the country's economic and social development," said Maduro.

In addition to oil, the petro currency will be backed by Venezuelan gold, gas and diamond deposits, he added.

To get the project off the ground, the government has put together a "multidisciplinary" team of specialists in technology, economy and finance, law and currencies, among others.

In August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that "prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company" and also prohibits "dividend payments" to the South American country's government.

In announcing the sanctions, the White House said the measures were "carefully calibrated to deny the Venezuelan government a critical source of financing."

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