Petro Current Affairs

Petro: Venezuela becomes first country to launch virtual currency

Venezuela become first sovereign country to officially launch its own cryptocurrency called Petro backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves to circumvent US-led financial sanctions. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has claimed that the pre-mined cryptocurrency Petrohas raised US $735 million on the first day of its pre-sale.

Key Facts

The Petro aims to help Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome financial blockade. It is based on blockchain technology. Its value will be pegged to price of barrel of Venezuelan oil from the previous day. Government will accept Petro as a form of payment of national taxes, fees, contributions and public services

Venezuelian government will issue 100 million coins of Petro of which 38.4 million is available for pre-sale and 44 million coins will be offered in Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) in March 2018. The rest 17.6 million coins will be retained by Venezuelan Superintendency of Currency and Related Activities (SUPCACVEN).

Petro Gold

With encouraging response to Petro, Venezuelan government is planning to launch another cryptocurrency based on gold called Petro Gold which will be backed by gold. It will be more powerful and strengthen the Petro. But Petro Gold will, be not the first cryptocurrency based on gold. Many such currencies are traded in market including one called RMG created by The Royal Mint in Britain.

Comment

The success of Petro depends a lot on how global crypto-community responds to its offer. Moreover, governments and regulators across the globe have already started warning investors against the financial and legal risks associated with digital or crypto-currencies. However, Venezuela is successful in managing digital assets, it will be able to circumvent sanctions imposed on it and it could open new ways for other sanctioned countries to be financially stable despite the curbs.

Background

Venezuela, an OPEC member has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. It has over 300 billion barrels oil reserves — largest in the world. The socialist country earns 95% of its forex from oil exports is going through one of the biggest financial crisis in its history. With new official cryptocurrency, Venezuela hopes to overcome economic blockade imposed by United States which has resulted in 99% depreciation of value of its fiat currency Bolivar.

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Petro: Venezuela launches new virtual currency

Venezuela has launched its own cryptocurrency called Petro to circumvent US-led financial sanctions. It will be backed by the country’s vast natural resource reserves.

In this regard, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has approved the creation of BlockchainBase observatory to oversee development and rollout of new cryptocurrency.

Key Facts

The Petro aims to help Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome financial blockade. Its value will be pegged to country’s vast reserves of oil and gas as well as its mineral wealth, including gold.

In recent time, OPEC member Venezuela which boasts world’s largest proven reserves of crude oil is struggling against plunge in oil prices which began in 2014. With new official cryptocurrency, Venezuela hopes to overcome economic blockade imposed by US which has caused the country’s national currency Bolivar to lose around 57% of its value in the last four weeks.

Crypto Currencies

Crypto Currencies or Virtual Currencies are type of unregulated digital money that is neither issued by central bank/public authority, nor is necessarily attached to fiat currency, but is used and accepted among the members of specific virtual community. They are capable of being transferred, stored or traded electronically. Cryptocurrencies are founded as peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic payment system. They enable transfer of money between parties, without going through banking system. They can be transferred directly between peers and the transactions are confirmed in a public ledger, accessible to all the users. The process of maintaining this ledger and validating the transactions is known as mining and is carried out in a decentralised manner.

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