Venezuela To Launch National Cryptocurrency

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Earlier this month, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the launch of an oil-backed cryptocurrency called Petro to rejuvenate the collapsed economy. Maduro claimed the new digital currency would be used to “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade [of the United States].”

The President claims that U.S. financial sanctions are also what forced the government to turn to cryptocurrency to save the economy.

5.3 billion barrels of oil worth $267 billion will back the currency, but diamonds and gold are also to be used according Venezuela’s president. Miners are already lining up to take advantage of the launch claims Venezuelan Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez, but this would be surprising considering that Venezuelan government authorities raided a warehouse to seize mining rigs and announced that Bitcoin mines would need to be registered with the government.

Many Venezuelans had turned to mining Bitcoin due to the nation’s hyperinflation and with electricity being practically free, citizens could make up to $500 a month mining cryptocurrency. “That’s a small fortune in Venezuela today, enough to feed a family of four and purchase vital goods—baby diapers, say, or insulin—online,” states the Atlantic.

One Venezuelan Bitcoin miner makes $1200 daily and is able to ship food via Amazon’s Prime Pantry in an effort to fight the country’s food shortage.

Whether or not Petro will save Venezuela’s economy is uncertain, especially because of its being backed by oil while other cryptocurrencies depend on social value, but it will be interesting to see if this prompts other countries to move towards digital money.

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Author: Luke Henderson

Since joining the Libertarian Party in 2016 (after discovering Gary Johnson as a disaffected Bernie Sanders supporter), Luke Henderson has been active in the liberty movement through journalism, and political activism. At the beginning of 2017, Luke had his first piece of writing published by Being Libertarian and quickly became a contributor to the libertarian news site, The Libertarian Vindicator. Through the Vindicator, Luke discovered his passion for addressing critics of the philosophy and bringing together different factions of liberty lovers which compelled him to become an editor for The Libertarian Coalition, a forum dedicated to an open-minded discussion of libertarian ideas from all walks. After many guest contributions to Being Libertarian, Luke was asked to join the website as a contributor, where he writes his column Scoring For Liberty, which discusses sports, politics, and economics from a libertarian lens, and his Educator series that seeks to strengthen libertarian’s understanding of educational techniques and policy to better arguments against public education. Luke is one of the District 1 Executive Committeemen for the Missouri Libertarian party, and the founder of the Missouri Chapter of the Libertarian Positivity Caucus. Outside of politics, Luke is a paraprofessional for the Special School District of St. Louis, a musician, composer, and a loving husband and father.

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