On Monday, October 26th, Venezuela announced that the government’s issued cryptocurrency – Petro, is open for the public for purchase. The government has opened an exchange desk for the country’s national cryptocurrency at the headquarters of the Superintendency of Cryptoassets. It can be purchased directly from there (Superintendency of Cryptoassets) and from Related Activities (Sunacrip), which is in charge of the country’s regulations regarding crypto. Citizens can purchase Petro with many currencies, including cryptos like BTC, ETH, and XEM.
Petro Pago and Petro Ahorro
Initially, the public sale was issued on November 5. However, the president Nicolas Maduro moved the event forward due to “the fluidity with which events developed and the support of President Nicolás Maduro,” says El Universal. Moreover, on November 5, two more Petro options will be unveiled – Petro Pago (pay) and Petro Ahorro (savings). Venezuela’s vice president of the economy, Tureck El Aissami said: “We are in the purchasing stage. Next week will be the savings stage.”
That all sounds like good news, the Venezuelans can finally store their money in a safe place, but there is one but. People buying Petro receive certificates instead of crypto. The documents include the buyers’ name, signature, and fingerprints. There is no info on the fact that people would receive actual cryptocurrency. There are even photos with Venezuela’s Minister of Agriculture buying Petro and later posing a picture holding up the certificate, which would mean that it doesn’t consist of a private key.
Is Venezuela scamming its residents?
You can buy Petro with real money like the Euro, USD, and Yuan and in return, you get… a piece of paper.
That somehow reminds me of that monkey story about how the stock market works, which is very similar to this situation:
Is Petro even real?
Some say that Petro doesn’t exist, due to the facts that you don’t get a private key, their block explorer is barely moving, consisting with only 316 blocks(while the block time is one minute), and that you can’t get any information on the transaction details. Also, Google has suspended the Petro wallet app from the Google Play app store. El Assami explained that this is because Google is checking the wallet crypto functionality. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you cannot download the desktop version for Windows and Linux as well.
All this leads up to the fact that Petro could not be real. Could this all just a show for the wider public?
Photos by Canva.com and the Venezuelan government.