Petro – The First National Cryptocurrency
World governments are slowly realizing that cryptocurrencies have come to stay. They are being discussed in G20 meetings, the United States has been taking every necessary measure in order to regulate and tax cryptocurrencies and, late last year, we even saw the first regulated ICO in Canada. It seems progression is being made towards adoption and there are already plans to create the first ever national cryptocurrency. Dubai, the largest and most wealthy city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has plans for issuing emCash, a cryptocurrency that would have become the first ever to be backed by a state or government. However, it seems they were beaten by the punch…
Venezuela will become the first country to have its own national cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR). The project is backed the president Nicolas Maduro and, according to the whitepaper, the original idea came from the previous president, Hugo Chavez. He wanted a “strong currency backed by raw materials” and that’s exactly what Petro aims to be, a currency backed by the country’s oil reserves.
“Petro will be an instrument for Venezuela’s economic stability and financial independence, coupled with an ambitious and global vision for the creation of a freer, more balanced and fairer international financial system.” – Whitepaper
The pre-sale started on the 20th of February and, according to reports from the president, it raised $735 million in the first day. Petro was announced as an ERC-20 token, and still is in the whitepaper, but it was actually launched on the NEM platform. This confusion opened the door to a few different scammers creating tokens named Petro on the Ethereum platform.
Until now the only foreseen use for Petros will be to pay taxes to the Venezuelan government, which will probably not be of great use to Venezuelan citizens seeing as you cannot buy Petro with Bolivar, the national fiat currency.
Although Venezuela has the biggest oil reserve in the world and the project might seem like a good idea, the fact is that the country’s economy is in shambles. In the last 12 months the Venezuelan Bolivar lost up to 96 percent of its value and the country’s inflation rose 4,155%. Not only that but the price of Petro is not determined by the general international price of oil but rather the Venezuelan government interpretation of oil prices. So, although it is claimed to be backed by oil the fact is the price of Petro is whatever the government of Venezuela says it is. Although it seems Petro is just a desperate way to crowdfund Venezuela out of poverty, let’s see how the first state cryptocurrency of the world fares out. If you are interested in the cause or would like to invest visit the official website here.