Venezuela Officially Launches the Pre-Sale of Its Oil-backed ‘Petro’ Token

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by Alexandra Sayapina · 3 min read
Venezuela Officially Launches the Pre-Sale of Its Oil-backed ‘Petro’ Token
Photo: Anyul Rivas / Flickr

The new cryptocurrency has faced lots of resistance but finally made its way through – the 82.4 million tokens are already available.

Some governments support cryptocurrencies, others ban them, but Venezuela seems to be one step ahead of them. While most of the governments conduct discussions on Bitcoin and its rivals the officials of Venezuela announced the pre-sale of Petro – the commodity-linked cryptocurrency.

Vice President of the Republic, Tareck El Aissami, tweeted on the 20th of February: “The Petro goes out to the presale”. That may become a beginning of a completely new era for Venezuela. The president of the country Nicolas Maduro announced the issue volume – 100 million tokens. The total issuance is over $6 billion.

“The Petro is born and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela,” President Nicolas Maduro said.

The story of Petro began in the early December of 2017. The president announced the revolutionary decision – the launch of commodity-linked cryptocurrency. Venezuela has suffered a lot from the U.S. sanctions. Issuing a cryptocurrency which is based on the commodity reserves of the country – including oil, diamonds and gold – is a bold move, but the officials of the country have high expectations about the new cryptocurrency,

“The largest and most important companies and Blockchain in the world are with Venezuela, we are going to sign agreements,” Maduro expressed. “Six weeks ago I announced the creation of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency.”

The rise of the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency may be difficult. The opposition-run congress of the country may “put sand in the wheels” of Petro. 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. However, the pre-sale has officially started. The token is well supplied with side materials like multilanguage buyer’s manual and anti-money laundering compliance manual.

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.”

The future of Petro can hardly be predicted. There are lots of skeptics who are confident that this cryptocurrency will not get through the next presidential elections in Venezuela. One of them is Harry Colvin, director and senior economist at Longview Economics. He said: “Venezuela has been known for misappropriation of assets in the past and the central bank has just created hyperinflation so I imagine there’ll be trust and transparency issues.”

Petro may still help the economy of Venezuela. This cryptocurrency is based on the real commodity reserves – costly and reliable. The governmental support of blockchain technologies may breathe life into the internal affairs of the country. The interested buyers can use different ways to become lucky owners of Petro tokens: from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to fiat currencies. Bitter irony: the list of accepted fiat currencies include the US dollar, but the national currency bolivar is out of business due to its hyperinflation.

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