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Venezuela catches the crypto craze

Is "The Petro" a leap forward or just a cash grab?

Some might have seen how the wild-ride cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have lured investors in recent months and decided it prudent to steer clear of the crypto craze. Not Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro, who has seen opportunity in the rise of digital currencies to raise funds for his cash-starved government. In December, the president said Venezuela would mint the world's first oil-backed digital currency and call it The Petro. "For every Petro, a barrel of oil," Maduro explained in December, saying the new virtual currency, available from February, would be linked to reserves certified in the Ayacucho-1 Block in the Orinoco heavy-oilfields. Venezuela's digital miners have been busy cr

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