Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro Claims Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency Raised $735 Million

by Abel Hampton February 22, 2018, 0:39
Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro Claims Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency Raised $735 Million

"The Petro reinforces our independence and economic sovereignty and will allow us to fight the greed of foreign powers that try to suffocate Venezuelan families to seize our oil".

Raising further doubts, Maduro has said that the undeveloped Orinoco oilfield will back the digital currency, creating no tangible barrels of oil that investors can cash in, said Jean Paul Leidenz, a senior economist at Caracas-based EcoAnalitica.

Separate to the pre-sale, the initial offering of actual petro tokens (whatever form they take) will happen at a later date.

"Within the framework of policies to strengthen monetary sovereignty and promote welfare by bringing power closer to its citizens, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has made a decision to embark on an ambitious project for the future, with the vision of turning the country into a blockchain-based solutions development hub for emerging economies", the site noted.

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.

During the presale, 82.4 million tokens were supposed to be offered. Buyers can use either crypto of fiat to purchase the token.

Venezuela is introducing a new cryptocurrency as the economy struggles to cope with U.S. sanctions and hyperinflation. The authority will also enable atomic swaps to remain independent from the third-party crypto exchanges.

It is not entirely clear from the documentation which blockchain platform PTR will run on, or indeed if there is a plan to ultimately build the token's own chain. But the opposition-controlled legislature has declared the petro illegal, meaning it may well refuse to honor the coin once current leaders eventually depart. Its president Nicolas Maduro launched the digital currency in early December despite warnings issued by different regulators around the world.

Venezuela has come out with a number of guides on its planned petro virtual currency as pre-sale support. Venezuela struggles with hyperinflation and a socialist economy that is in trouble. "Petro will be an instrument for the creation of a freer, balanced and fair worldwide financial system", the website states. Madura's government is the victim of an economic war led by opposition politicians with the help of the US President Donald Trump, according to Maduro.

A private industry initiative to launch an oil-backed crypto is also soon to be launched, called OilCoin.

Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves and the government is backing the Petro with its oil barrels.

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