According to a report by Telesurtv, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a crypto-funded bank for the country’s youths and students, on Thursday. The President announced that the bank will start its operations with 20 million Petros, the national cryptocurrency.
Maduro also said that the new institution will begin its functions with close to 1.2 billion dollars, which will support the productive initiatives of this sector of the population.
President Maduro was speaking during a youth ceremony in the state of Aragua, who make up the Chamba Juvenil Plan, a social program that promotes the first job among the youth of the country. The ceremony was held on Thursday.
Following the launch and sale of the Petro, the Venezuelan government has insisted that cryptocurrency and blockchain sector is the next frontier in creation of jobs for youths in the country. In connection to this, President Maduro stressed the importance of each university and lyceum having a ‘farm’ for the mining of cryptocurrencies to continue with the strengthening of the national economy.
Together with members of the ministerial cabinet, the President celebrated that one million young people are now part of the Chamba Juvenil Plan and expects that half a million more will be added in the coming months as the Petro continues to gain popularity; and this will help the country’s economy to stabilize.
The Controversial National Cryptocurrency, Petro
In February, 2018, the government launched a national oil-backed cryptocurrency, known as the Petro, under an executive order from the President. The government argued that the cryptocurrency was meant to revive the country’s economy after years of political and economic upheaval which led to massive devaluation of the country’s fiat currency.
The launch of the national cryptocurrency has so far received widespread condemnation with the American government terming it a way for the Latin American country to evade the US-led economic sanctions instituted following months of political uprising and violation of human rights by the government.
President Trump banned any American resident or company from any involvement with the Petro, while Venezuelan opposition has condemned the cryptocurrency, accusing its launch and sale as being an illegal way of the government borrowing against the country’s assets.
Since its launch, there have been concerns that the project was initiated by Russia as an experiment to see whether it was possible to evade economic sanctions instituted by the Western countries. However, Russia has vehemently denied any collusion with Venezuela with regards to the Petro.
The concerns about the controversial national cryptocurrency have not deterred the government from exploring other means to launch a new national cryptocurrency. CoinDesk reports that President Maduro has announced that his government’s plans to launch a second cryptocurrency; this time backed by the country’s gold reserves.
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