CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Venezuela announced that is will enter the cryptocurrency market with its launch of the "petro," backed by oil reserves.
The petro will be backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Maduro said the government will issue 100 million tokens, each valued at the price of one barrel of Venezuelan crude.
That would value the petro issuance at just over $6 billion, according to CNBC.
The government said the cryptocurrency will help the cash-strapped nation make financial transactions and overcome U.S. sanctions against the country.
Venezuela's actual currency — the bolivar — is in a freefall, with the nation in need of things like food and medicine.