Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has called for 10 other countries to adopt his planned oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. This move follows the country’s parliament declaring the issuance of this new currency illegal.
Maduro held a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Treaty of Commerce of the Peoples (Alba – TCP) on Friday. Alba consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Venezuela.
During the meeting, “Maduro called on the countries of the Alba to assume together the creation of the cryptocurrency, the petro,” Prensa Latina reported.
“I call on us to assume the petro as an integration currency of our peoples,” Efecto Cocuyo quoted him, adding that it is “imperative” to take the proposal with “maximum priority.”
An Ongoing Issue
Since its announced in early December, Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency has been a topic of controversy. After assigning over 5 billion barrels of crude oil to back the new currency, Maduro ordered the issue of the first 100 million Petros as well as organized a meeting of miners.
The petro is expected to launch in 6 weeks and will be pre-mined, Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies Carlos Vargas announced this week.
However, just one day before Vargas’ announcement, the Venezuelan Constituent National Assembly declared the cryptocurrency illegal. Parliamentarians unanimously voted “absolute nullity on the issuance of the petro cryptocurrency,” news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.
In a recent workshop hosted by the Central Bank of Venezuela called “The role of Venezuelan youth in disruptive technologies,” a response to the Assembly’s decision was prepared. On Friday, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Pedro Infante, said Venezuelan youth will propose to the Assembly “to create a special commission that will be in charge of debating the proposals presented by the various sectors, to carry out the financial system of the cryptocurrency Petro.” He elaborated, as posted on the Ministry of Communications website:
We are proposing that the ANC [Constituent National Assembly] has to set up a special commission to deal with the cryptocurrency issue. Appoint a commission with groups of experts to constantly debate to see what legislation is needed.