Venezuela Launches The ‘Petro’ – It’s Own Cryptocurrency

But would you really buy in to it? If you look at the volatility of Bitcoin, I’d say … stay away.

CARACAS, Venezuela — Crisis-ridden Venezuela is launching an oil-backed cryptocurrency Tuesday that it hopes will help circumvent U.S. financial sanctions and resurrect the country’s moribund economy.

The pre-sale of the “petro,” which will represent a barrel of crude from a specific division in the country’s Orinoco oil belt, started Tuesday morning. Investors were offered $60 “tokens” at discounted rates that they can exchange for petros during what is being dubbed an “initial coin offering,” or ICO, in March.

“Today is the day the petro is born. We are on the world’s financial vanguard. Our response to great problems is great solutions and good will,” President Nicolás Maduro said in a televised launch event held Tuesday night in his presidential palace with media and investors. In a room set up startup-style with texts moving on screens and party-like music in the background, he said the project raised $735 million on the first day. “The game took off successfully,” he said.

Skeptics have expressed doubts that the currency will thrive, mainly because of lack of trust in a government whose debt is being renegotiated and whose policies have brought skyrocketing inflation. In addition, the country’s once-thriving oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), is producing at its lowest levels in decades.

Source: Washington Post


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