The launch of Venezuela's state cryptocurrency El Petro should take place within a few days.

Everything is ready for the launch of El Petro, the Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency, the state authorities said. 

"It is a matter of days before we announce the first issuance of the ‘petro’ cryptocurrency," said Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez.

It is expected that El Petro will help Venezuela cope with economic difficulties, the state suffers due to the US economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. The state cryptocurrency will differ from bitcoin, as it will be backed by real assets of oil and gold. On 27 December, President Nicolas Maduro approved El Petro's financial support by 5 billion barrels of oil from the oil reserves of Venezuela. According to the Ministry of Finance, the value of these assets is equivalent to $267 billion, which exceeds the current capitalization of bitcoin, standing now at $242.7 billion.

In the past few months, cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, have become a popular means of preserving and multiplying assets in countries with a troubled economy and absence of a viable financial system. The record prices for bitcoin are constantly demonstrated by the Golix exchange, which is available only for citizens of Zimbabwe. According to current data, the rate of bitcoin on par to the US dollar on Golix exceeds ​​$23,000, while its average rate according to Coinmarketcap is $14,472.