Venezuela is finally getting ready to transition to the petro for oil sales next year.
Last year, the country launched its own cryptocurrency that will be backed by the OPEC nation’s oil, gold and mineral reserves. The move was in response to what Venezuela called a financial “blockade” by the United States and the Trump administration. “This will allow us to advance toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of our country,” Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said at the time.
Now it is gearing up to officially transition the country’s oil sales to the petro in an attempt to minimize the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the industry, as well as diversify the global market.
“In 2019, we have a schedule for [oil] to be sold in petros and in this way continue to free us from a currency that the elite of Washington uses," said Maduro, according to Coindesk.
Back in February, Maduro claimed the country had sold $735 million of petro during day one of its presale. Yet there was no evidence presented to back up that figure.
And bitcoin’s nosedive has led many of the retail investors behind the crypto’s record rise of nearly $20,000 last December to leave it behind.
As a result, according to Reuters, data shows that volumes at major retail-focused exchanges such as Coinbase and Poloniex shrank 22 percent and 74 percent respectively, while Japan’s bitFlyer’s volumes were down 47 percent last month.
Yet the data also showed that monthly crypto trading volumes at major exchanges hit $235.8 billion last month.
“You’ve got the larger exchanges picking up the slack and making gains of market share, with retail exchanges stepping back,” said CryptoCompare’s Charlie Hayter.