Venezuela Launches Petro: Will It Suffer the Same Fate as the Bolívar?

22 February, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Kim Reid
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The cryptocurrency was created in an effort to circumvent the financial sanctions against Venezuela, the US and the European Union.

And Venezuela's inflation rises faster in a day than it does in stable countries in a year, he said, adding that dreaming up a new currency alone isn't the answer. He is urging OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) members, who have been a victim of the U.S. sanctions, to use its "Petro" cryptocurrency is order to overcome the economic pressure put on them.

The head of state did not give details of the original investors, and no evidence was provided for his statement about the amount raised. Maduro made the official launch of petro with an evening address.

Blockchain experts have warned the petro is unlikely to attract significant investment.

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The president said on Tuesday: "Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman".

In early December, Maduro shocked analysts who follow both the country's flirtations with default and the cryptocurrency community by announcing that Venezuela would launch the Petro cryptocurrency, backed by oil, diamonds, and gold reserves, to help the country to "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade".

The petro will not be a token on the Ethereum network, as was previously disclosed in a whitepaper provided by the government.

He stressed in another tweet that Venezuela's development has a socialist vision for a future of prosperity for all Venezuelans, unlike that 'in many parts of the world new technologies increase the gap between rich and poor'.

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Though the government move attracted criticisms within the country and outside, the establishment was not anxious about it. The establishment outlined its expectations, as well as, plans for the petro in its web portal meant for the virtual currency hosted by Ministerio del Poder Popular para Education Universitaria Ciencia, Technologia, reported.

Petro is set to go live next month, and the Venezuelan government is said to be working with potential investors from Europe, the US, Turkey and Qatar - although it remains to be seen who they are, and whether they can be persuaded to actually invest.

The country's cryptocurrency regulator did not provide further details but, according to Reuters, 38.4% of the petros to be issued will be sold at a 60% discount. Each coin will be valued at and backed by a barrel of Venezuelan crude oil, Maduro said.

Venezuela's opposition said it will not participate in "fraudulent and illegitimate" presidential elections scheduled to take place on April 22.

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