Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced the launch of a Petro-funded crypto bank to support initiatives from youth and students, Latin American government-sponsored news outlet TeleSur reported yesterday, May 3.

During а speech for the Chamba Juvenil Plan, a social program that promotes jobs for youth, Maduro also noted the necessity of universities maintaining their own crypto mining farms to support the national economy.

According to the The digital crypto bank will be funded with 20 mln Petros – Venezuela's government-issued cryptocurrency – which Maduro said is equal to close to $1.2 bln. The Petro pre-sale, which was held from Feb. 20 to March 19 and reportedly raised $3.8 bln from 127 participating countries. The initiative has brought up questions internationally over the national cryptocurrency’s role in the global economy, particularly in regards to the Western economic sanctions currently in place against Venezuela.

As Venezuela’s economy is currently experiencing hyperinflation, the use of decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) has become more attractive to citizens that may see crypto as a less risky investment than the Venezuelan bolivar.