Venezuela will present petro cryptocurrency to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2019, believing the world oil markets to start using the crypto.
‘Petro will become the digital currency of oil transactions worldwide; we will present it to OPEC, it is one of the internationalization measures of the currency.’ Manuel Quevedo, the country’s minister of petroleum and the president of state-owned oil company PDVSA, announced on Wednesday.
It is expected the move to enable Venezuela to start using the token to market its oil from the first quarter of next year that will help improve the country’s economy.
Companies interested in Venezuelan oil products have been invited to join the Petro cryptocurrency platform. Quevedo has invited shipping companies and airlines to register for a digital wallet to transact in the petro.
“The gasoline for planes, ships, we will be selling it in Petros. It is the currency of Venezuela,” he was quoted as saying by Chinese news agency Xinhuanet.
Venezuelan authorities started the sale of petro to its residents on Oct. 29 via an official government portal — the token must be used for paying passport application fees.
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.