Will Russia follow Venezuela and launch a cryptocurrency?

Hot on the tails of President Nicolas Maduro’s new oil-backed “Petro” cryptocurrency launch, the Venezuelan government is now entering into talks with Russia to discuss crypto.

Venezuela has recently made waves after becoming the first nation to introduce its own digital currency.

Now it seems as though Russia is keen to learn more after the two countries met to discuss the newly-launched currency in Moscow this week.

According to Venezuelan Finance Minister Simon Zerpa Delgado, he was in Moscow on Wednesday discussing collaboration between the two states and met with several Russian government officials, including Russia’s Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov.

Tweeting from his official Twitter account, Delgado confirmed the main topic of conversation was the world-headline grabbing launch of “el Petro.”

Initially announced in December, the Petro coin was launched on Tuesday, sparking global interest.

Delgado’s (translated into English) tweet said:

“In this meeting we have reviewed the economic and financial cooperation between the two countries, with emphasis on the new [cryptocurrency] of Venezuela: the Petro. We deliver the Min. Siluánov updated information about our [cryptocurrency].”

Delgado also suggested that the countries hoped to strengthen their relationship in the face of US sanctions, saying:

Delgado also suggested that the countries hoped to strengthen their relationship in the face of US sanctions, saying:

“Russia and Venezuela will continue to strengthen their trade balance.”

“We will continue advancing in the construction of a multipolar and pluricentric world, free of imperial tensions.”

The details of what Russia’s involvement, if any at all, in the Petro will be at this point is still unclear.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has launched an oil-backed cyrptocurrency called ‘el Petro.’

Putin embraced cryptocurrency

Despite initial skepticism regarding cryptocurrencies from the Russian Government, President Vladimir Putin grew to embrace cryptos, and more specifically, Ethereum.

Putin is enthusiastic about Ethereum as a “potential tool to help Russia diversify its economy beyond oil and gas,” according to Bloomberg.

After meeting with Russian-Canadian programmer, and Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, Putin said in a statement:

“The digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models.”

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has pledged to his people that the Petro will be used to circumvent international sanctions imposed on the country.

The launch has garnered a mixed response from citizens of Venezuela, with some hailing the new currency as part of a “new economic era,” while others have branded it a vehicle for corruption.