Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has recently taken extensive measures in order to promote the controversial Petromoneda (Petro) - the country’s national cryptocurrency. Reportedly, Maduro has officially permitted 16 different cryptocurrency exchanges to legally operate in Venezuela. The politician stated:
“The certification of these 16 exchanges is a demonstration of confidence in the system of the Petro, as a cryptocurrency, and will allow liquidity and solid transactional volume.”
Interestingly though, Maduro’s decision was preceded by a government-led crackdown on crypto exchanges. At this point, however, there’s no official confirmation about whether the exchanges will be required to list the Petro, but it appears that they will be going ahead with the certification process.
Incentives to Adopt the Petro
This is not the only step that the Venezuelan president has taken to promote the Petro, which has been heavily criticized by the country’s opposition party. Notably, the so-called rogue state tried to lure India into accepting the Petro cryptocurrency by offering it a substantial 30% discount on crude oil if it does.
To further encourage India, the president has listed India’s recently hacked Coinsecure exchange among those which will be “certified” by the OPEC country. Per Maduro, he will also be taking measures “to create an Industrial and Economic Investment Fund in Petro”. He even said that he has put aside $510 million worth of Petro “for credit loans.”
These recent developments have come at a time when the pre-sale of the Petro cryptocurrency has made its final rounds. Maduro announced at the opening of the nation’s Power Expo 2018 that the state-backed crypto has accumulated approximately $3 billion in digital currency. Now, it seems that by allowing these 16 crypto exchanges to legally operate, the president is trying to promote Petro transactions in the $400+ billion global crypto market.
Exchanges Certified By Maduro
As reported by Venezuelan newspaper Correo del Orinoco, the crypto exchanges certified by Maduro include:
“Criptoexchainge, Criptocapital, Asesoría Financiaera CA, Italcambio, Amberes Coin, Cave Blockchainge, Valoratta Casa de Bolsa, Coinsecure.ve, Critiaechainge, Criptolago, Criptoventraige CA, Criptoactivo Menets CA, Criptoactivo Bancar CA, Criptomundo Casa de Intercambio CA, Inversiones Financieras 1444 CA, [and] Criptoactivo Criptoes.”
The Petro initiative along with all its related developments have been carried despite American president Donald Trump signing an executive order last month to ban US transactions involving the Petro. Moreover, it has been called a “scam” by the Trump administration and just an underhanded way for the nation to circumvent internationally imposed sanctions.
It will be interesting to follow further developments related to the Petro cryptocurrency, considering the heavy politics involved. Russia is considering launching a crypto Rouble and will be closely following the success or failure of Petro, if successful it is likely many other nations will launch sovereign backed cryptocurrencies.