There have been 171,000 certified purchase orders for the Petro according to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. In a tweet on February 27th Maduro claimed, that 40,8% of the purchases were in U.S. dollars, with 6,5 % in euros, 18,4 % in Ethereum and 33,8% in Bitcoin.
Apparently, 3,500 companies expressed interest in purchasing Petro tokens, 82,000 other purchasers being individuals according to Venezuelan news.
Here’s the thing though, the Venezuelan government has not made it public who these individuals are and how they went about getting certified. Which casts doubt on whether or not there really is a demand or if the crowdsale really did raise $735 million on the first day, as Maduro previously claimed. No evidence has been forthcoming, for either claim. We just have President Maduro’s word to go on so far.
What is also peculiar, is that none of the 100 million Petro tokens created have been disbursed yet. In fact, the Venezuelan government’s NEM address indicates that not a single token has left the wallet. It is as yet unclear if the coins will be released to the purchaser after the crowdsale or some other unspecified date or if it’s all a hoax.
A cryptocurrency that is pegged to one of the world’s largest oil reserves would be on anyone’s radar, which makes the numbers Maduro’s government are claiming plausible. The lack of transparency around the matter is a big concern, considering what is at stake.
None this has deterred cryptocurrency exchanges from trying to get a piece of the Venezuelan action, however, with eight new exchanges having been greenlighted to set up shop in the South American nation.
Venezuela’s economy has been crippled by runaway inflation and the safe haven, cryptocurrencies provide has seen demand for digital currencies like Bitcoin balloon in recent years. If Petro turns out to be real, this will be important for the global crypto economy as how Venezuela approaches it will inform crypto policymaking elsewhere.