Mr Maduro said: "The difference with this crypto-currency is that the government says it is backed by one barrel of oil, so it's a way for the Venezuelan government to say that this currency has some extra real-world value".
"In our view, if petro goes ahead and the Venezuelan government manages to raise a considerable amount from investors, this could bring more worldwide scrutiny from regulators", said Matthew Newton, analyst at eToro.
Here is what we know about the new currency. It will go on sale to the public in the coming month.
Maduro is also the first Venezuelan, first Latin American and first Western Hemisphere head of state to have received such sanctions. Holders of petros would be unable to exchange them as their emission would likely be declared illegitimate by a new government.
"The new cryptocurrency will be backed by reserves of Venezuelan wealth in gold, oil, gas, and diamonds".
Scholars and economists have also pointed out the dubious nature of the petro.
Venezuela launches Petro Coin today - nearly 84 million tokens are initially available for sale.More news: Kansas men's basketball summary for February 19
"It is not going to be done in bolivars at this stage", he added.
Carlos Vargas, the official in charge of managing the token, said: "Our responsibility is to put (the Petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear".
How much does it cost? .
It is worth remembering that, according to OVCS, there were 165 killed in demonstrations in 2017, a year in which there were 9,787 protests, a record since OVCS started measuring such events in 2011. "ERC20" tokens will be created and sold using the Ethereum platform for the pre-sale phase.
What can you buy with it? U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez joined the anti-Petro sentiment with an open letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Petro may still help the economy of Venezuela. "If I wanted to avoid worldwide sanctions and make money appear out of thin air in my country hiding the origin, I guess this petro would be a useful way".
Analysts are showing their concerns over the long-term success of petro coin, as the USA has already denounced this cryptocurrency.
The opposition-controlled National Assembly has opposed the idea of the petro, labelling it illegal.