CARACAS, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Vice President Tarek El Aissami confirmed Friday that the country's oil-backed cryptocurrency became publicly available for purchase.
Anyone can buy the Petro on its website using currencies such as Chinese yuan, Russian ruble, Turkish lira and euro, or virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and the New Economy Movement.
Buyers from more than 133 countries purchased Petros during the pre-sale period, generating sales over five billion U.S. dollars. The money raised was enough "to build a million new homes" in Venezuela, said El Aissami.
The Venezuelan government launched the digital currency in a bid to overcome economic difficulties caused by sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.
Training centers were opened by the government in order to help the public, especially young people, learn more about virtual currencies and how to carry out transactions.