The official oil-backed cryptocurrency of Venezuela, Petro, has launched and is currently in it’s pre-sale ICO stage. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro introduced the Petro in December of last year as a way to help circumvent US financial and trade sanctions and in hopes to resolve the country’s current financial crisis. The inception of the currency has been surrounded by controversy as high-ranking Venezuelan government advisers state that it is illegal to use the country’s oil reserves to issue debt due to the hydrocarbons law. Skeptics are also doubtful to trust a government who has acted corruptly in the past as price manipulations and total government control is a concern. Regardless, Maduro has continued with the country’s entrance into the digital markets and the Petro is officially launched.
¡Pendientes! En pocos minutos haremos el lanzamiento al mundo de nuestra criptomoneda Venezolana El Petro que viene a fortalecer nuestra economía pic.twitter.com/uWqZApJdyl
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 20, 2018
“In a few minutes we will launch the world of our Venezuelan Criptomoneda the Petro that comes to strengthen our economy.”
During the pre-sale, 1 Petro (which is represented by 1 barrel of oil from the country’s prosperous Orinoco oil belt) will be offered at a discount of around $60, which will be given in a Petro ERC-20 token that can be exchanged for official Petros during their ICO in March.
Venezuela has been in a financial and socioeconomical crisis since 2012, stemming from Hugo Chávez’s tenure, spilling over to Maduro’s presidency. The rise of inflation and unemployment has resulted in social movements calling for change in the country’s current economic model and increase in demands for a more democratic system. As Venezuela’s official currency, the Bolivar continues to drop in value (currently at 99.6% devaluation. 1 Venezuelan Bolívar equals 0.000040 US Dollar), the Petro will be looked to as a way to revolutionize the current state of Venezuela.