Venezuela’s Margarita Island will be the country’s first special economic zone (SEZ) to use the national cryptocurrency, the Petro, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

Margarita Island, Venezuela’s Caribbean holiday island will be the country’s first special economic zone

Maduro said he signed a presidential decree making duty-free Margarita Island, in northeast Nueva Esparta state, a “special economic zone for the use of the Petro as a currency for purchases, for exchanges within the free zone.”

The president, who is hoping to be reelected on May 20, announced the news at a campaign stop in Nueva Esparta.

Earlier this year, Venezuela launched the first cryptocurrency in the world to be backed by a nation’s natural resources in a bid to overcome U.S.-imposed sanctions that cut off its access to capital markets.

The oil- and mineral-backed Petro has generated millions of dollars, according to the government.

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.