Launched in February 2018, the petro, or petromoneda, is a cryptocurrency developed by the government of Venezuela. Announced in December 2017, it is claimed to be backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves, and it is intended to supplement Venezuela’s plummeting bolívar fuerte currency, purportedly as a means of circumventing U.S. sanctions and accessing international financing. As Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, the petro is backed by a barrel each — as of January 2014, the country has a total of 297 billion barrels.
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