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Venezuela to launch metals-backed cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the country plans to launch a cryptocurrency backed by precious metals called "petro gold," Reuters reported.

"Next week I'm going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro," Maduro said in a televised speech.

The announcement comes after the country began a presale of its oil backed cryptocurrency, which generated $735 million on the first day.

Venezuela, which is facing hyperinflation concerns, is looking to minimize the effects of U.S. sanctions through the cryptocurrencies. The opposition leaders called it an illegal debt issue and investors are also skeptical about Venezuela's solvency and transparency, the news agency noted.