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“Invisible” Petro Launches, Maduro Promises Tradeability

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The Venezuelan cryptocurrency petro, promised by their president Nicolas Maduro, has finally launched, the president said in a televised announcement on October 1st. He added that “the six most powerful exchanges in the world are here,” promising tradeability and usability of the national stablecoin reportedly backed by barrels of oil.

Nicolas Maduro. Source: Twitter

“Venezuela makes history! Today we take a step forward with the launching of Petro as a national currency and a platform for the strengthening of our financial sovereignty,” said the president on Twitter. He added that: “Starting today comes into force the new version of the Libro Blanco -White Paper- of Petro, which includes the support of crypto-assets in gold, diamond, iron and aluminum.”

The petro is available for purchase immediately, although it remains unclear exactly how. Maduro also promises that the “six most powerful exchanges in the world” will be working with him on making petro available to everyone for both cryptocurrencies and fiat. Venezuelans will be able to buy petro in exchange for sovereign bolivars starting November 5th, however. The sovereign bolivar, announced in August, is a new currency in Venezuela, promised to be pegged to the petro.

The petro has often been called Venezuela’s latest attempt to circumvent international sanctions which plunged the country into an economic crisis. However, in August Reuters reported that in Venezuela, new cryptocurrency is nowhere to be found: the coin is not sold on any major cryptocurrency exchange, no shops are known to accept it.

Aso, the country’s officials have previously announced their intent to use petro to build “villas for the homeless.” Meanwhile, the coin itself has been deemed a scam by various rating sites.

In either case, Venezuela has become another example how in times of financial crisis people turn to cryptocurrencies, as reported by Cryptonews.com. As inflation runs rampant in the country, people are turning to cryptocurrencies in droves – peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes on bitcoin are at their all-time high, while demand for the Dash cryptocurrency has skyrocketed, too.

Weekly LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, volume (in bitcoin):

Source: coin.dance