Following the steady but rapid decline of the Venezuelan fiat currency, Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro has moved very quickly to announce the country’s solution to the unravelling disaster: the new Petro national cryptocurrency.
In a post on Venezuela’s government website summarizing the speech delivered by the president on the national television, Maduro stated that the national cryptocurrency Petro is now officially launched and available.
The official website for the Petro has also been put up for Venezuelans along with the Petro wallet that can be gotten from Google Play. The public sale, however, would begin next month by November 5.
Although Maduro claimed that the new cryptocurrency would be available on six major crypto exchanges all over the world by Monday, October 1, it does not seem to be the case as top exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, OKex, and Huobi do not have it listed at the time of the report.
The national token, Petro, is oil-backed, according to the government, and has been mandated to be the sole method of transaction and exchange in oil deals in and out of Venezuela. This, of course, also applies to international airlines that have routes through Venezuelan local airports, as fuel for air crafts would be purchased only by Petro.
While the President continues to reiterate that the digital currency is backed by oil, Petro’s brand new white paper details the value and intricacies of the national coin, showing that the currency is backed 50 percent by oil, 20 percent by iron, another 20 percent by gold, and 10 percent by diamond assets.
Real or a smokescreen?
There have been several inconsistencies surrounding the launch of the new national coin, and current popular belief dismisses the launch and the cryptocurrency altogether as a scam meant to distract Venezuelans from their ailing national fiat currency.
Contrary to Maduro’s claim, the Petro is yet to enter any markets and is not recognized internationally, as the cryptocurrency simply do not appear to exist.