Venezuela's 'Petro' Token Launches in Pre-Sale

21 February, 2018, 07:18 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Nicolas Maduro

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

At the same time, the tweet of overture to Trump coincided with another major move by Maduro's government: On Tuesday, Venezuela launches pre-sales of its planned "petro" cryptocurrency, a digital currency backed by the country's oil, gold and diamond reserves.

While it might make sense for a cash-strapped country to try and bring in new funding via such a token sale, the petro has been controversial from the get-go.

Leaders of Venezuela's opposition coalition appeared likely on Monday to decide on a boycott of the April presidential election, believing authorities have rigged it for President Nicolas Maduro and his ruling socialists.

The story of Petro began in the early December of 2017.

Maduro was expected to announce further details with the digital coin's official launch Tuesday evening and has touted the petro as the fulfillment of the late Hugo Chavez's dream of upending global capitalism away from the dominance of the USA dollar and Wall Street.


The launch has been billed by Maduro as a splashy entrance into "the world of the 21st century" - but, as journalist John Otis notes on Morning Edition, some critics have called the new cryptocurrency a scam.

U.S. senators: Rubio and Menendez said: "It is imperative that the U.S. Treasury Department is equipped with tools and enforcement mechanisms to combat the use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions in general, and in this case in particular".

"Our responsibility is to put (the Petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear", said Carlos Vargas, who's charge of the project. "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", Longview Economics director Harry Colvin told CNBC.

Petro may still help the economy of Venezuela. "In fact, rather than a cryptocurrency it is really an Ethereum-based token like many others we are seeing in the ICO ecosystem".

Trump "campaigned promoting non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs", Maduro tweeted, tagging the US president's account. Siraj is a published financial analyst on the world's leading websites including SeekingAlpha, TheStreet, MSN, and others. Bitter irony: the list of accepted fiat currencies include the United States dollar, but the national currency bolivar is out of business due to its hyperinflation.

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