Venezuela has authorized six cryptocurrency exchanges to start selling its national cryptocurrency, the petro, according to the government’s website. The petro, which recently became a Venezuelan national currency, can now be purchased at the six exchanges, local media report.
The Venezuelan government has authorized six websites it claims are cryptocurrency exchanges to market and sell the petro, the country’s new national currency.
Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency is hardly used, and the government has made no move to tap into its oil reserves as promised, a report from Reuters found last week.
The petro can’t be found on any major bitcoin exchange, including Coinbase or Bitfinex, and it isn’t accepted by retailers.
Reuters found few buyers through online forums.
Transactions of petro are kept anonymous, but their frequency and volume look low when matched up with the government’s claims.
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro said that by the end of its initial coin offering on March 20th, petro sales raked in $5 billion, and the funds are paying for imported goods. But a cabinet minister involved in the project told Reuters that the coin’s technology was still in development, and nobody has been able to use the petro.
Venezuela’s President Maduro has said the nation will sidestep the U.S.
The Venezuelan government is entering the cryptocurrency space, and the country claims it has already made a splash with its digital currency, called the petro. The government claimed that the pre-sale of the petro drew in $735 million in investments on the first day.
The government also issued a buyer’s manual and indicated that investors are able to purchase petros using both “hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars, according to Bitcoin.com.
The petro pre-sale was scheduled to begin at 4:00 a.m. UTC on February 20 and was set to take place as a private sale, according to the cryptocurrency whitepaper.
ATAPIRIRE, Venezuela (Reuters) – To hear Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolas Maduro tell it, this remote hamlet of 1,300 souls is perched on the cutting edge of an innovation in cryptocurrency.
Located in an isolated savanna in the center of the country, Atapirire is the only town in an area the government says is brimming with 5 billion barrels of petroleum. Venezuela has pledged those reserves as backing for a digital currency dubbed the “petro,” which Maduro launched in February. This month he vowed it would be the cornerstone of a recovery plan for the crisis-stricken nation.
But Atapirire residents say they have seen no efforts by the government to tap those reserves. And they have little confidence that their struggling village has a front-row seat to a revolution in finance.
“There is no sign of that petro here,” said homemaker Igdalia Diaz.
Venezuela’s Petro (Petromoneda, PTR) has been described as the “national” cryptocurrency since its announcement back in December 2017. In August 2018, Petro became the country’s second official currency, being made equal to the country’s fiat currency Venezuelan bolivar. Despite its name being associated with oil, the Petro currency’s backing by oil is limited to 50%, while an additional 20% is reserved for gold and iron and 10% for diamonds.