Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Venezuela will create a new cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves and other natural resources, President Nicolas Maduro said.
Maduro announced the new cryptocurrency known as "petro" on his weekly national TV program Sundays with Maduro. It is an attempt to cope with a failing national economy and circumvent U.S. sanctions.
"Venezuela will create a petromoneda cryptocurrency to advance the matter of monetary sovereignty as it will help defeat the financial blockade and move toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of the country," he said.
Maduro said the petro will be backed by Venezuela's gold, oil, gas and diamond reserves, which the government hopes will allow it to combat sanctions and high national inflation rates.
Venezuela's government also established the Blockchain Observatory as "an institutional, political and legal base" for petro's launch.