Troubled Venezuelan cryptocurrency “Petro” is up for sale
Launched in February 2018 and surrounded by a lot of controversy, Petro was one of the first cryptocurrencies in the world to be created directly by a state government. Looking at other countries solving their economic issues with crypto, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was looking at Petro as a ‘magic pill’ to end Venezuela’s ongoing problems with the economy and unemployment. Petro was mainly backed by the country’s vast untapped oil reserves located primarily in the remote Atapirire region. The goal was to strengthen and grow its export without the need of using U.S. dollar in a wave of the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S.
However, even with having clear and promising goals, Venezuela showed no signs of actual adoption of a government-created coin. Bitcoin, on the contrary, hit unprecedented highs while Venezuelans tried to escape the worst effects of the country’s hyperinflation. Despite wide government efforts to encourage Petro use, including ordering banks to operate in cryptocurrency, and charging for passports in Petro, Venezuelans had little belief in the cryptocurrency pushed by authorities. The main reason for it may be the general lack of trust in the Venezuelan government with its dictatorship rule.
According to Tareck El Aissami, the Venezuelan Vice President of the Economy, Petro ‘may be acquired by legal and natural persons from its web portal,’ and it’s available for purchase in Bitcoin or Litecoin. Whether or not it will be back from the dead under the new ownership remains to be seen. The only thing is clear – Venezuela might have a huge potential for a statewide mainstream use of crypto.