Venezuela is hoping the world’s oil markets will start using its controversial national cryptocurrency, the petro.
Manuel Quevedo, the country’s minister of petroleum and the president of state-owned oil company PDVSA, announced in a tweet on Wednesday, that Venezuela will take petro to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2019, as the “main digital currency backed by oil.”
Another PDVSA tweet shows a news clip of Quevedo talking on the subject, captioned with the quote:
“Petro will become the digital currency of oil transactions worldwide; we will present it to OPEC, it is one of the internationalization measures of the currency.”
The move is aimed to enable Venezuela to start using the token to market its oil from the first quarter of next year, according to a report from Prensa Latina, the state news agency of Cuba.
Quevedo believes the move will help improve the country’s economy and “guarantee” growth and prosperity.
Companies interested in Venezuelan oil products have been asked to join the country’s national cryptocurrency platform, the report states. Quevedo has reportedly invited airlines and shipping companies to register for a digital wallet to transact in the petro.
“The gasoline for planes, ships, we will be selling it in Petros. It is the currency of Venezuela,” he was quoted as saying by Chinese news agency Xinhuanet.
Venezuela started the sale of petro to its residents on Oct. 29 via an official government portal, saying the token must be used for those seeking to obtain passports. The country pegged its new national currency, the sovereign bolivar, to the petro in July of this year.
The token was first launched in pre-sale in February, despite the opposition-controlled Congress having called it illegal when first announced.