Controversial State-Owned Cryptocurrency Has Been Officially Launched In Venezuela

The Venezuelan Economy Department has announced the official launch of the nation’s cryptocurrency, Petro. According to the announcement, the coin is now available for purchase in both fiat an crypto on six different exchanges.

Venezuela has experienced a significant economic meltdown in recent years. This meltdown has seen the country’s national currency depreciate to unprecedented levels.

Despite being an oil rich nation, the economic turmoil experienced by the South American country has seen significant capital flight out of its borders. Citizens have embraced more valuable currency of other nations, especially the US Dollar. Even with restrictions on bitcoin and independent crypto activities, Venezuelans still found ways of using crypto as a store of value.

In what arrived with associated controversy, in 2017 President Nicolas Maduro’s government announced plans to create a state-backed cryptocurrency. Amidst threats and sanctions from some nations across the world, Maduro and his team did not retract on their efforts.

The state-backed crypto is said to be backed by the nation’s oil reserve. This implies that owning Petro guarantees a stake in the nation’s prominent natural resource, oil.

According to details of the tweet through which the launch was announced, Petro can be purchased directly from the country’s treasury via the coin’s official website. On the other hand, users can make purchases through any of the six exchanges listed in the announcement. The exchanges include Bancar, Afx Trade, Cave Blockchain, Amberes Coin, Cryptia, and Criptolago

Ability to purchase Petro involves passing through registration and validation processes on the coin’s website for users who seek to make purchases using cryptocurrencies. Purchasing using fiat can be performed with Yuan, Euro or US Dollar, according to the announcement.

While this development is shrouded with a lot of controversy, it still remains a revelation on how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies provide solution to socio-economic issues.

Although Petro remains a cryptocurrency, the centralized nature of its administration remains a point of reluctance for advocates of decentralization. Petro has being launched, its development and effect on the economy of Venezuela shall be known in the near future.

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