According to President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has taken hundreds of millions of dollars to launch Petro, the world’s first public cryptocurrency. On the first day of presale 735 million dollars have come together, Maduro said on Tuesday in Caracas.
“Today, a cryptocurrency will be launched that can compete with Superman,” Maduro said. He played with the well-known cartoon character on the US, from which the world’s leading dollar comes.
The crisis-ridden Venezuela hopes by the start of the cyber motto an economic liberation. Until 19 March interested parties can invest in the Petro, which is, according to Venezuelan information, each secured with a barrel (159 liters) of the country’s crude oil reserves.
100 million digital coins are to be spent at about $ 60 each. This would bring the Petro to a total market value of six billion dollars and would move from the state into the top ten crypto-currencies.
There has long been criticism of Petro. He was not a cryptocurrency, complained about the opposition MP Alfonso Marquina in January on Twitter. He represents futures on oil.
In the first place, Venezuela seeks to revive its own economy and circumvent US sanctions. Maduro’s government also expects access to the international financial markets.
Critics prophesy that the Petro may soon be one of the digital currencies called “shitcoin” in the industry: worthless or a scam.
Maduro repeatedly blamed US sanctions on the country’s situation and announced in early December that Petro would advance the country’s economic and social development despite the “financial blockade”.
Deep economic crisis
In Venezuela, there has been a power struggle between Maduro and the opposition for years. The country is in a deep economic crisis, the oil price decline of recent years depresses the revenue of the state. The opposition has repeatedly mobilized mass protests against Maduro, accusing them of building a dictatorship, mismanagement and corruption.
Some rating agencies have already classified Venezuela and its state-owned oil company PDVSA as partially insolvent. The national currency Bolívar has recently lost a lot of value.