“Petro” Token Pre-Sale Announced By Venezuela’s President

News | February 1, 2018 By:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced the date for the pre-sale of the country’s proposed cryptocurrency Petro, which is backed by commodity reserves, including oil.

During the meeting of the council of ministers earlier this week, the presdient said that the initial sale of the token will commence on February 20. In addition, Maduro has presented and signed Petro’s official whitepaper.

According to the president, the Petro pre-sale will be “through ERC20 tokens.” The government is planning to use the cryptocurrency with a national ID card possessed by millions of Venezuelans. Mining centers are also being set up at educational institutions to produce the token.

“Venezuela is at the forefront of the world, and we are going to accelerate permanently the startup of the cryptocurrency, the Petro,” Maduro said. “The Petro will have a great impact, in how we access foreign currencies for the country and in how we obtain goods and services that we need from around the world.”

The cryptocurrency was first announced at the beginning of December to help combat the US’ “blockade” against Venezuela. At the time, Maduro said it will enable the country to advance in monetary sovereignty and carry out its transactions to overcome the financial blockade.

Venezuela’s opposition-run congress, the Asemblea Nacional, soon after declared that petro is illegal. Legislators claimed that any issue of the cryptocurrency would violate constitutional requirements that mandates the legislature approve any borrowing against Venezuela’s oil wealth.

Earlier this month, two US senators denounced Venezuela’s planned cryptocurrency in a letter addressed to the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. US Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez demanded to know what the US government was doing to foil attempts by rogue nations in leveraging cryptocurrencies to skirt imposed sanctions.

“We have serious doubts about whether Venezuela has the capacity to launch a cryptocurrency, but regardless, it is imperative that the US Treasury Department is equipped with tools and enforcement mechanisms to combat the use of cryptocurrency to evade US sanctions in general, and in this case in particular,” the two senators stated.