Venezuela unveils virtual currency amid economic crisis

Venezuela unveils virtual currency amid economic crisis

In a televised announcement yesterday, Maduro said the new crypto-currency would allow Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.

President Maduro provided few details about the currency launch, and how he plans to revive the economic situation of his country. He said that Venezuela will develop a cryptocurrency that is backed by gas, diamond reserves, gold, and oil.

President Maduro has also railed against United States sanctions which he describes as a blockade.

On the other hand, the also Minister of Communication and Information assured that the Venezuelan government is waging the biggest battle against corruption in the South American country that had its epicenter in the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

Reuters reports that compliance departments are scrutinizing transactions linked to Venezuela, which is in turn slowing down bond payments and thwarting oil exports.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his weekly radio and TV broadcast "Los Domingos con Maduro" (The Sundays with Maduro) in Caracas, Venezuela, December 3, 2017.

Certain cryptocurrency followers were confused and surprised by the announcement of the Venezuelan leader. The irony is that currency restriction in Venezuela in the last few years have triggered a bitcoin craze among the tech-savvy citizens who are looking to evict controls and obtain dollars for making online purchases.

The country is now lacking basic needs like food and medicine, and its currency, the bolivar, is in freefall as it went down 57 percent last month alone on black markets due to currency controls and excessive money printing.

The government's poor policies forced millions of Venezuelans to struggle for survival, as three meals a day aren't a given. Lawmaker Angel Avedro said that such announcement has "no credibility" and "It's Maduro being a clown".

"The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech", Trump said in a statement.

Economists and opposition leaders say Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, has recklessly refused to overhaul Venezuela's controls and stem the economic meltdown.

Maduro says he is trying to combat a Washington-backed conspiracy to sabotage his government and end socialism in Latin America.