nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Venezuela says launch of 'petro' cryptocurrency raised $735 million

22 February 2018, 01:09 | Colleen Roy

Venezuela becomes first country to launch its own digital currency

Venezuela's digital coin makes debut

Venezuela on Tuesday became the first country to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Maduro had previously said that 100 million petro tokens worth some $6 billion will be issued.

The country's crude oil reserves - the largest in the world - back the petro.

"We have taken a giant step into the 21st Century", Maduro said in a nationally broadcast show. "We are in the technological and economic vanguard to overcome the speculation of global currencies that affect the lives of Venezuelans".

The petro's unveiling played out before a live studio audience inside the presidential palace Miraflores, complete with red carpets and a splashy set prominently displaying a crafted marketing symbol "P", for petro. During a demonstration about the technology that will be put in place to support the Petro, it was revealed that a Russian company will run the platform.

Today cryptocurrency is born that can compete with "Superman" - said Maduro, alluding to the USA dollar.

Venezuela's president received a multitude of warnings about issuing the crypto, and he ignored every one of them. The Venezuelan president, however, did not give details about the initial investors and there was no evidence presented for his figure.

The Venezuelan Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition groups coalition refused on Wednesday to take part in the forthcoming presidential election in the country, scheduled for April 22.

Each of the 100m Petro tokens were to be backed by one barrel of the country's oil. The government has promised that Venezuelans will be able to use the coins to pay taxes and public services.

The government will sell Petros for both fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies, but it will not accept the bolívar - it seems that the government lost interest in its own currency.

For long, the US has used sanctions as a strong arm tactics to compel errant nations to fall in line with its economic/political expectations. Maduro or other top officials in his administration.

Some bitcoin enthusiasts also question the whole concept of Venezuela, or any government, promoting a digital currency when such instruments were originally created to circumvent the controlling role of the state.

"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 chose 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. With a vast reserve of fossil fuels, the country is facing a severe economic collapse not seen anywhere else in recent times.

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