Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has made several claims regarding his country’s digital currency this week. He announced the launch of the petro as a national currency on Monday, reportedly claiming that it is already “present in the world’s six topmost international exchange houses.” A new whitepaper has also been published showing that the petro is no longer 100 percent backed by oil but is also backed by some of Venezuela’s other resources.
Petro Officially a National Currency
Maduro announced on Monday the official launch of the petro, supposedly an oil-backed cryptocurrency created in February. In a televised address, he said:
Venezuela makes history! Today we take a step forward with the launch of petro as a national currency and platform for strengthening our financial sovereignty.
Telesur TV subsequently quoted him declaring that the petro, “unlike other digital currencies, doesn’t need to be mined because it already has a value; it is shielded with Venezuelan oil and mining wealth.” According to the publication, Maduro was also referring to “the country’s gold, diamond, iron, and aluminum.”
Following Monday’s announcement, the Venezuelan government published a new whitepaper for the petro.
In contrast to the previous whitepaper, the new version states that the petro is using Dash’s X11 mining algorithm for Proof of Work, as well as a staked masternode system for Proof of Stake verification. The hybrid system will employ four-megabyte blocks and a one-minute block interval.
A page of the new whitepaper, describing the basic concepts of the technology behind the petro, displays illustrations taken directly from the Dash and Bitcoin whitepapers.
“Lol Venezuela’s new petro token is a blatant dash clone,” tweeted Ethereum developer Joey Zhou upon reading the document.
Furthermore, the petro is no longer backed fully by a barrel of oil. Instead, it is now backed by 50 percent oil, 20 percent gold, 20 percent iron, and 10 percent diamond, the new whitepaper details.
Maduro Claims Petro Already in Six Exchanges
Without naming any exchanges, Telesur TV also quoted Maduro claiming:
The petro is already present in the world’s six topmost international exchange houses and will now be accepted at a national level.
He further described, “All Venezuelans will have access to the petro and through it to make international purchases,” the news outlet quoted him saying, noting that “Petro coins are now a legal substitute to dollars in real estate deals as well as paying for goods such as airline tickets, hotels and the like.”
Venezuelan officials hope that the petro will “neutralize” the threat of black markets and money mafias across the country, the news outlet conveyed. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza was quoted telling reporters that “Such money mafias are widely blamed for a slump in the value of the Venezuelan bolivar, further exacerbating the nation’s economic woes.”
Venezuela has also recently launched a new national currency called the sovereign bolivar. AVN state news agency reported:
Each unit of the cryptocurrency will be equivalent to 3,600 sovereign bolivars and will be the reference for fixing the value of work, the price of services, and of consumer goods — one of the accounting units that will govern the Bolivarian nation.
Maduro also revealed that from Nov. 5, “the Venezuelan people will be able to purchase the petro cryptocurrency with sovereign bolivars,” the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information wrote.
What do you think of Venezuela’s claims regarding the petro? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.
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