The idea to establish a national cryptocurrency appeared as a way of solving the poor economic situation in the country. Inflation has gone through the roof in Venezuela and the president ordered a cryptocurrency that would be based on the countries oil reserves in order to resolve the situation.
The official whitepaper issued in February read: “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela guarantees that it will accept Petro’s as a form of payment of national taxes, fees, contributions and public services, taking as a reference the price of the barrel of the Venezuelan basket of the previous day with a percentage discount of Dv.”
At the moment Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro is offering an opportunity to the buyers of petro, a little incentive so to say, to get more people into the state crypto.
“Anyone who buys petro [from now] until December 31 can convert it into any digital currency or international convertible currency, such as bitcoin or yuan.”
However, is this really what a crypto “special plan” ought to look like? Stating that the users will have a special opportunity to convert the crypto into another currency be it crypto or fiat, and be able to use that money to buy something on the internet, as the president was noted saying. Possibly this is not intended to make foreign investors become more interested in the state cryptocurrency, but urge the people of Venezuela to acquire more petros.
It is not wholly clear from the president’s words what will happen with the petro after January 31. Will it become no longer tradable? Will there be some kind of fee or tax for exchanging the petro for another currency? What is the imminent benefit for the user to go and purchase themselves some petros? Or is petro just a means to pay taxes and wasn’t made to be traded and used for other purchases?
If one is accustomed to the world of crypto, then at first glance, looking at the strange national cryptocurrency of Venezuela, they might become bewildered, and question the “cryptoness” of the currency. The problem is, that the petro doesn’t have the feel of a decentralized cryptocurrency. A second and third glance do not really aid the situation.
Firstly, there is no official wallet (yet) that can store the purchased crypto. An Android wallet was available for a short time before Google removed it from its store claims an official. A certificate of purchase is given out to the buyer to provide evidence that they have acquired a sum of petros.
Secondly, there is no publically available code archive, hence it is impossible for an individual to check whether someone has the claimed petro or not, and how competent is the written code. As well as that, no basic statistics are published, so the users are left in the dark about such things as hashrate, confirmation times and overall platform activity.
Thirdly, the purchase must be made in an established timeframe with necessary fingerprinting before the issuance of a certificate of purchase.
The whole petro situation is looking grim since, at the moment, it hardly resembles a decentralized cryptocurrency and considering that the whole backed-up by the oil reserves status is rather opaque, only time will tell what will happen with the national cryptocurrency of Venezuela.
Earlier Venezuelan banks began to show began to display user accounts in petro, prior to that Venezuela vice president Delcy Rodriguez stated that citizens are now obliged to purchase their passports with petro, and most recently it was reported that Venezuela is to present the petro at OPEC.
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