Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent USA -led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the "petro" backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy.
President Maduro provided few details about the currency launch, and how he plans to revive the economic situation of his country.
Mr. Maduro said Sunday that the new currency would be called the "petro" and be backed by the OPEC nation's abundant oil, gold and mineral reserves.
The currency would help Venezuela "to advance in monetary sovereignty, carry out its financial transactions to overcome the financial blockade", according to Maduro.
Certain cryptocurrency followers were confused and surprised by the announcement of the Venezuelan leader.
Hyperinflation has eroded the Venezuelan bolivia's value by 97% this year, making imports incredibly expensive and causing many to abandon trust in the currency.
The announcement was derided by the opposition leaders. It is an attempt to cope with a failing national economy and circumvent USA sanctions.
The country's currency, the Bolivar, has been rendered basically worthless by the country nearly running out of cash. Venezuela is now lacking in fundamental needs such as medicine and food.
The government's poor policies forced millions of Venezuelans to struggle for survival, as three meals a day aren't a given.
Excessive money printing and state currency controls have contributed to a 57 percent depreciation of the bolivar against the American dollar in the last month in black markets, according to Reuters. This led the monthly minimum wage in the country down to a mere $4.3.
Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader who took office in 2013, didn't reveal a lot about the yet to be launched cryptocurrency named "Petro", or how the country would go by developing and distributing it but did proclaim "the 21st century has arrived!" "This has no credibility", said opposition lawmaker and economist Angel Alvarado.