Business 13 November 2018

Erik Gibbs

Venezuela pushes for Petro as unit of measurement for oil

Venezuela really believes in its Petro stablecoin. Despite not having a stable economy upon which to build its national cryptocurrency, it is working diligently to have Petro seen as a viable cryptocurrency—although most indications are that it will never truly get off the ground. To help it in its cause, the South American nation is now preparing to turn to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for support.

The Venezuelan media outlet TeleSur indicates that Venezuela wants OPEC to see the Petro as a unit of account for petroleum and oil. The country’s Minister for Petroleum, and president of the state-run oil company (Petroleo de Venezuela, SA), Manuel Quevedo, stated, “We will use Petro in OPEC as a solid and reliable currency to market our crude in the world… We are going for growth and economic prosperity of our country giving a hand to the future since the Petro is a currency that is backed by mineral resources.”

Quevedo also asserted that the Petro is a major part of the economic recovery plan of Venezuela and that all products derived from crude oil will need to be commercialized in Petro. “We are going to the growth and economic prosperity of our country giving a hand to the future since Petro is a currency that is backed by mineral resources,” he explained.

It’s hard to imagine the Petro being a legitimate solution. Venezuela is bankrupt due to the actions of one man, the “elected” president, Nicolas Maduro. If he manages the Petro space the way he did the country’s economy, there isn’t much hope for recovery.

The Petro is being criticized by opponents in Venezuela, as well as international groups. The majority of the citizens have begun to turn to other cryptocurrency offerings, such as Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin BCH and Dash, because they don’t trust the Petro, either. In fact, according to some studies, Petro is a mirror image of Dash, meaning the country couldn’t even be bothered to introduce its own alternative; it had to copy something else.

The Petro officially went on sale at the beginning of November. It is available on six different exchanges, all of which were authorized by Maduro. According to Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings, Petro is a “worthless token.”

The Brookings Institution agrees. It asserts, “[It] is relatively unsurprising that a dictatorship with little reserve currency … has resorted to a deceitful means like introducing the petro … The petro … exists to create foreign currency reserves from thin air.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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