It seems Maduro and his people may have pulled it off. On December 29th, the Venezuelan government announced plans to begin rolling out the national oil backed cryptocurrency, Petro, within days.
Though President Maduro’s camp has not released any technical details on Petro, They have announced that it will initially be pegged against 5.3 billion barrels of oil worth roughly $267 billion. It is Venezuela’s aim to end the ‘financial blockade’ imposed by US sanctions against the country.
Venezuela isn’t in very good shape economically, contending with runaway inflation playing havoc with the OPEC member country’s standard of living. It goea deeper than the pork shortage they suffered over Christmas. The country has been mired in the doldrums of a recession for about four years now, and Petro probably has the potential to be a much needed life line for Venezuela.
President Maduro also announced that the country’s gold and diamond deposits to El Petro, along with coltan and gas deposits. Which promises to make for a strong and rather stable cryptocurrency if you think about it.
It appears El Petro will be exchangeable for Bolivares and other currencies at an exchange rate set by the national crypto-asset exchange house. El Petro coins will also be kept in a virtual wallet which will be every holder’s own responsibility.
As far as issuance goes, the tokens will be issued ICO style. Though it isn’t clear if the token runs on its own blockchain or on a smart contract built on an existing blockchain platform.
While we wait for the announcement giving details on when Petro will begin to be rolled out to the public, various cryptocurrency experts have claimed Venezuela doesn’t have the ability to issue a cryptocurrency. Though Tunisia has one. Maduro’s detractors have simply chalked this revelation down to grandstanding on the part of El Presidente.
The El Petro could potentially set Venezuela up to be one of the crypto economic powerhouses of the future, given the current rate of the adoption rate of cryptocurrencies.