April 26, 2018 / 10:08 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Venezuela's central bank to receive $1 bln from cryptocurrency sales: Maduro

(Adds Maduro quote, context)

CARACAS, April 26 (Reuters) - Venezuela’s central bank will receive $1 billion from the sale of the country’s cryptocurrency, the “petro,” President Nicolas Maduro told reporters on Thursday, which he said would be used for foreign exchange auctions.

Maduro said early sales had reached $3.3 billion.

“I’ve decided to send $1 billion to the central bank for Dicom auctions,” Maduro said in a televised broadcast, referring to the government-backed foreign exchange platform.

Critics have heavily questioned figures surrounding the petro, noting that the token is blocked by U.S. sanctions and that Maduro’s government has offered limited evidence that the sales have in fact taken place. (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth Editing by Marguerita Choy and Rosalba O’Brien)

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