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Zainab Calcuttawala

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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Venezuela To Pre-Mine Petro For Release In 6-Weeks

Venezuela is getting ready to pre-mine its cryptocurrency for an official release six weeks from now, just one day after the country’s National Assembly declared the Petro illegal.

The Petro will not be privately minable in its early stages. Instead, the government will fully control its origination and distribution, according to Carlos Vargas, the Venezuelan Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities.

“In a period of a month and a half, the sale of the petro cryptocurrency will take place” and interested parties will form their digital wallets, the superintendent said.  “We will have a cryptocurrency whose verification and use in all exchange houses…will be supported under a widely known platform, which will allow the petro to be marketed anywhere in the world without major restrictions.”

President Nicolas Maduro has led a drive to recruit crypto-miners since the December announcement of the release of the Petro. The effort concluded with the establishment of a registry, which will remain open for sign-ups until January 20th. Mining is not illegal in Venezuela, and the name of the people on the list is open to the public.

Last week, Maduro said that he ordered the first 100 million units of its new oil-backed Petro—Venezuela’s cryptocurrency creation. Each Petro unit will be backed by one barrel of oil, and the 100 million units, at current value of $59.07 per barrel, should be worth almost US$6 billion.

While this sounds good on paper, the move is largely seen as a fanciful idea by analysts, and opposition politicians have said of the project that it is doomed to fail, according to Reuters. A lack of rule of law and falling production are unlikely to make the cryptocoin attractive enough for international investors, not to mention the escalating U.S. sanctions designed to constrict capital flows to Caracas. Citgo, Venezuela’s state-owned U.S. subsidiary, cannot currently repatriate its earnings to PDVSA due to the measures.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • Cor A. Bus on January 13 2018 said:
    This is Maduro´s way of trying to dolarize the economy. The venezuelan currency is worth less than dust now, and since declaring the US dollar as a official currency is a contradiction to everything the socialist regime has preached in their miserable time to their zombie-like followers, they are trying every single desperate measure to make time until the oil prices surge again and to bypass the multimillion sanctions to all of their personal bank accounts.

    Everyone that still complies with the socialist so-called goverment is either a part of them or someone that benefits from them; they have stolen everything and it only comes to light now since there is nothing left to steal.
  • royal phoenix on January 12 2018 said:
    Maduro can't pick up the trash. The Petro is another "look over there". The bus driver who has a 9th grade education prolly won't be around in 6 weeks.

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