Venezuela Petro Coin Sale Begins But Infrastructure Seems Doomed

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Just short of a year after the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro revealed that his government is considering to issue a national cryptocurrency, Venezuelan Economy Department took to Twitter to announce the start of the public sale of Petro on October 29th.

According to the announcement, Petro is now available for purchase for cryptocurrencies, limited to Bitcoin and Litecoin as well as for local fiat currency.

Petro will be available on six minor exchanges

Although Petro has been the subject of many discussions throughout the community, the public interest in this cryptocurrency didn’t result in the listing from any relevant trading platform.

Instead, the six exchanges announced by Maduro are all outside of the top 100, according to the Coin Market Cap (CMC), and those are:

  • Bancar
  • Afx Trade
  • Cave Blockchain
  • Amberes Coin
  • Cryptia
  • Criptolago

What is Petro?

Underneath all the undeniable controversy, according to the project’s official website, Petro is a cryptocurrency backed by national natural resources reserves issued by the Venezuelan Government in order to promote an independent, transparent, and open digital economy.

Hybrid PoW and PoS with DASH x11 algo

Petro’s whitepaper claims that its blockchain is a fusion of Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus reaching mechanism, fuelled by the same X11 algorithm used by Dash. XBT.net previously reported that Petro is allegedly a copy of DASH.

100 million Petro pre mined

In the founding document, issuer reveals that 100 million Petro has been pre-mined, which is usually not a favourable fact among the cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

The whitepaper claims that five 5MB blocks are needed to validate a transaction on the Petro blockchain, and those blocks are processed every minute.

Petro cryptocurrency wallet

Desktop wallet

The official Petro website has a wallet section where it claims that users can download Windows and Linux versions. Clicking on the download links using the English version results in an error:

When clicking on the same links in the Spanish version of the website, the page simply scrolls to the top, without the initiation of any download.

Web wallet

As for the web wallet, called the PetroApp, it appears that the ability to ‘spend’ and ‘save’, essentially wallet features, are “coming soon”.

Although pictures of Venezuelans buying Petro are circulating on the National Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities‘ Twitter account, XBT.net questions their validity seeing that users have no place to store their newly acquired Petro.

We will monitor this situation as it continues to develop.

Petro can be purchased with Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC)

Despite the announcement that Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dash (DASH) could be used to purchase Petro, at the moment, only BTC and LTC purchases are supported, in addition to Yuan, Euro, and U.S. dollar.

The conclusion can be made from the country’s treasury through the official Petro website, or from six mentioned exchanges.

The government’s plan for the first emission of Petro will see 51% of the cryptocurrency allocated for the “reserve”, while the rest is going to be distributed through public sale.

In order to resolve any emerging issues, the Venezuelan government has appointed the National Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities, Joselit Ramirez, to coordinate Petro’s customer service and sale.

The first government-backed cryptocurrency

As we may well know by now, the majority of governments across the globe are still practicing a substantial amount of scrutiny towards cryptocurrencies and taking a somewhat defensive stance.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government turned to new technologies in an attempt to aid the country’s struggling economy to regain its footing.

However, to say that the attempt was accompanied by the clumsily devised marketing campaign would be an understatement.

Frequent bombastic announcements, the unclear direction of the project, and the lack of transparency didn’t help the overall amount of trust towards the pioneering project.

Nevertheless, the possibility remains that, if given enough time, the Petro project will do what it was envisioned for – help the country get back on its feet, although, we have our doubts.

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