Share story

CARRACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the cash-strapped country has picked an oil field to back its proposed digital currency called the petro.

Maduro’s comments Wednesday on the proposed cryptocurrency shed some light on the government’s project for which few public details have been released.

He identifies the field as the Ayacucho Block of the Orinoco Belt and says it has proven reserves of more than 5 billion barrels of oil.

Maduro says each barrel of oil pumped there will equal one petro.

The president first proposed the cryptocurrency early in December as a way to fight what he calls a financial “blockade” by the Trump administration against the socialist-run country.

Venezuela has been in a deepening financial crisis since global crude prices fell and its production levels crashed.