Venezuela's Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency Declared Illegal

The Venezuelan parliament has declared the oil-backed cryptocurrency created by President Nicolas Maduro illegal and in violation of the country’s Constitution. Maduro’s decree to create the national cryptocurrency, the petro, has been declared null and void.

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Venezuelan Parliament Declared Petro Illegal

The National Assembly of Venezuela on Tuesday declared the country’s upcoming oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, illegal. Venezuelan parliamentarians unanimously voted “absolute nullity on the issuance of the petro cryptocurrency,” El Universal reported and quoted Deputy Carlos Valero announcing:

This Assembly tells the world that the cryptocurrency the government wants to issue is illegal, and this parliament will come out in front to prevent public opinion [from] falling into that trap.

Deputy Williams Dávila added that the parliamentarians denounced the petro, asserting that the government only wants “to evade financial sanctions, openly violating the Constitution, and legitimizing illicit transactions.”

Venezuela's Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency Declared Illegal
National Assembly meeting.

The Petro Stalled Just Before Launch

Venezuela's Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency Declared Illegal
Nicolas Maduro.

The creation of Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency was first announced by Maduro in early December, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Since then, he has assigned over 5 billion barrels of crude oil to back this new currency as well as securing miners for it. On Friday, he moved forward with the order to issue 100 million petros and promised to release its whitepaper on January 14. According to Maduro’s plan, “The Read More Here