First announced back in December 2017 by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a way to breathe life back into the dwindling Venezuelan economy by countering United States-imposed sanctions, attracting investments, and generating a new payment system for goods and services, petro, Venezuela’s official token is now available as part of a pre-sale.
Petro, Venezuela’s official token is said to be backed by various commodities including oil of which the country has significant reserves. 82.4 million of these tokens are available initially, but a total of 100 million petros will be issued according to Maduro.
Maduro had this to say about the launch announcement:
"Petro is born and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela. ... The largest and most important companies and blockchain in the world are with Venezuela, we are going to sign agreements.”
The pre-sale announcement was made by the Vice President of the Republic, Tareck-El Aissami, earlier this morning.
Carlos Vargas, Superintendent of the government’s cryptocurrency says the pre-sale and ICO will be made in both fiat and cryptocurrencies, but not the country’s own Bolivar - that has seen it’s value plummet in recent months, causing an economic crisis in Venezuela.
Vargas believes that by putting petro “in the best hands” it will create a secondary market that will further drive interest and increase value in the cryptocurrency.
Despite petro’s pre-sale having launched, Venezuela’s opposition-run congress declared that petro will be illegal, arguing that the token’s issuance is violating laws that state that congress must approve government borrowing against the country’s oil reserves.
Legislator Jorge Millan says the petro is not a cryptocurrency, but a “forward sale of Venezuelan oil”, adding that the plan was “tailor-made for corruption.”
President Maduro is up for re-election in April. If he loses the election, the Congress will have an easier time overturning the decision, and petro could be deemed useless and unusable as a currency.
Check the first cryptoactive issued by a State of Venezuela at http://elpetro.gob.ve/