Certificate instead of crypto? Venezuela starts selling Petro!

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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.”

Certificates, seriously?

Chinese delegate showing off his Petro certificate.

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:

“Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. That renewed the efforts of the villagers, and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each, and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort even to see a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers; “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35, and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.” The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!”

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.

Venezuela will use “Petro” as a second accounting unit

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Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced that Petro, the national oil-backed cryptocurrency, will be used as a second accounting unit of the Republic.

The statement says: “As of next Monday, Venezuela will have a second accounting unit based on the price, the value of the Petro. It will be a second accounting unit of the Republic and will begin operations as a mandatory accounting unit of our PDVSA oil industry.”

The government plans to introduce a new salary and pricing system for goods and services that are chained to the Petro. This will substantially improve the income of the workers and will help the maximum retail price to reappear.

Starting from August 20, Venezuela will have two government currencies, the Petro and sovereign bolivar, the latter of which will be indexed to the former. The sovereign bolivar will take five zeros away from the current national currency, the bolivar fuerte, in an eventual monetary reconversion.