On February 20, Venezuela launched the pre-sale of the world’s first national, oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR). At the time, President Nicolas Maduro said that the volume of pre-sales of the Petro reached $735 million.
Russian start-up project Zeus, which is an online exchange platform, aided Venezuela in setting up their cryptocurrency, according to president of the company “Osnova”, Alexander Ruchyev.
“One of our start-ups, Zeus, helped them [Venezuela] issue a national crypto currency. The release of the crypto currency means the creation of a stock exchange, an ecosystem. It helped create this ecosystem,” Ruchyev told journalists.
“It [startup] went through the Smart Valley platform, we invested in it, and it is now actively developing in the world,” the company’s president went on to say.
The Venezuelan president said that foreign investors’ interest in transactions with Petro had already exceeded $1 billion. Interest in the new cryptocurrency was shown by countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Japan, China and Spain.
This has made Venezuela the first country with a cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves.
The government intends to attract foreign investors from countries like Poland, Denmark and Norway, as well as to bypass US and EU sanctions, according to Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment Jose Vielma Mora.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Maduro said that the launch of another crypto currency, the gold Petro, which will be backed by the precious metal, is set to appear by next week.
The Venezuelan government also launched a free cryptocurrency training course to teach its citizens how to buy, sell and mine digital currencies.
The online exchange platform, Zeus, makes it possible to buy and sell shares of the world’s largest companies for crypto currency.
Zeus is connected to US exchanges under a contract with a brokerage company. The project was selected on the Smart Valley platform and received an investment deal for development from “Osnova” company.
The company, headed by Ruchyev, owns a minority stake in Zeus.