00:17 GMT +321 January 2018
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with businessmen in Caracas, Venezuela January 9, 2017

    Venezuela's Cryptocurrency, the Petro, to Be Backed by Oil Reserves - Maduro

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    According to Nicolas Maduro, the Petro is needed to overcome the financial blockade of the country. The Ministry of Finance of Venezuela clarified that the cryptocurrency is necessary to carry out financial transactions and to seek new ways of financing.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro promised on Tuesday to certify the new Petro cryptocurrency in the near future, which will be backed by the country's oil reserves.

    "In the near future, I will sign the Petro certificates, which will have the support of thousands of oil barrels from Orinoco Belt," Maduro said in a televised statement, adding that national gold and diamond reserves will also support the digital currency.

    On Sunday, Maduro announced the introduction of a digital crypto-currency, the Petro, which is expected to help the country overcome its financial blockade. The Venezuelan Ministry of Finance specified that the cryptocurrency was necessary to make financial transactions and look for new ways of financing.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Plans to Create Cryptocurrency System to Overcome Financial Blockade

    In November, the United States imposed new sanctions on 10 current and former Venezuelan officials for their role in undermining the country's electoral process, censorship and corruption. The list of individuals includes newly-appointed Culture Minister Ernesto Emilio Villegas Poljak and Minister of the Office of the Presidency Jorge Elieser Marquez Monsalve, as well as Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales, an agriculture minister in charge of the government-run food distribution program.

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    cryptocurrency, blockade, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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