Venezuelan President Announces Official Launch of Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency “Petro”

This week, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro gave a televised speech to announce the official launch of the “Petro,” which is the first government issued cryptocurrency in the world.

Maduro said that the official public sale will start on November 5th, but that six major exchanges would be listing the Petro this week. However, the Petro is still not listed on CoinMarketCap, CryptoCompare, or any other major exchange.

Maduro also revealed the official website for the Petro has already been launched, as well as mobile wallets for the cryptocurrency, which are already available at Google Play.

Questions About the Petro

The government of Venezuela insists that the Petro will be backed by oil, which if true, could prevent the government from excessively printing money and devaluing the currency, a policy which has caused the current economic crisis in the country.

Petro’s recently released whitepaper specifies that the currency is backed by a portfolio of Oil, Gold and Diamonds. Although, it is important to note that the public has lost significant trust in the Venezuelan government and its central bank as a result of the hyperinflation crisis, and the sloppy roll-out of the Petro.

Initially, Madura promised that the Petro would be ready for full use by August, which included point of sale payments in grocery stores and other local merchants. Now, it seems that the Petro is far from ready for mainstream use in Venezuela.

Madura says that all oil purchases in and out of the country will be paid in Petro, which could be where the most popular use case for this blockchain. Venezuela is one of the world’s top exporters of oil, so if they were able to require foreign buyers to trade with them in Petro, it could turn this crypto into a valuable asset.

However, the Petro is not expected to be welcomed by most Venezuelans, who are already becoming more comfortable with using decentralized alternatives, such as bitcoin, monero, bitcoin cash and dash. Last month, Business Insider reported that dash is especially popular for point of sale transactions in the country.

Dash Core's CEO, Ryan Taylor, told Cointelegraph that areas dealing with economic turmoil can gain the most benefit from crypto. Taylor said:

We’ve found that regions of high inflation rates and industries in which cash handling or credit card chargeback rates are high have been most excited to adopt the technology. For us, we focus on those segments in which cryptocurrency can offer the most benefit, and that’s one of the reasons growth in acceptance is so high.

Ironically enough, Ethereum developer Joey Zhou pointed out that this week that the whitepaper for the Petro seems in fact to be a “blatant Dash clone.”

 

 

Billionaire Novogratz: Altcoins Won't Pump Like In 2017 Bull Run, Bitcoin Will Dominate

It appears that cryptocurrency prices have finally begun to recover after enduring an extended bear market which lasted throughout 2018.

As the market capitalization of Bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets continues to rise, several analysts have been drawing comparisons between what they’re seeing in the current market and what they observed during the historic bull market of late 2017 and early 2018.

Commenting on the recent crypto market price movements via Twitter, Ran NeuNer, the host of the CNBC Africa Trader show, remarked:

The market is running but we still haven’t seen the crazy alt pumps, pumps where coins do 40% in a day...is it coming?

Bitcoin To “Outperform” All Other Cryptos “This Time”

As the bitcoin price begins to recover, there have been many predictions made regarding the anticipated performance of altcoins. Twitter user “Crypto Bitlord” (@Crypto_Bitlord), a widely-followed digital asset market analyst, believes XRP, which currently has a market cap of around $16.3 billion, may trade as high as $10.

However, prominent crypto investor Michael Novogratz believes that digital asset traders are a lot smarter this time, when compared to some of the bad investment decisions they might have made during the initial coin offering (ICO) craze of 2017.

Novogratz, who’s the founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, a full-service crypto merchant bank, has predicted that in this market run, Bitcoin will “outperform” all other cryptoassets.

On May 16th, 2019, the Bitcoin price surged to a 2019 high of $8,373 according to CryptoCompare data. In response to bitcoin’s recent price movements, Juan Villaverde, the Chief Analyst at Weiss Crypto Ratings, told CryptoGlobe: 

Bitcoin could fall to as low as $4,400. But [if] it does, it will be the best Bitcoin buying opportunity since 2015.

“More Good News For New Bitcoin Users”

Villaverde, an econometrician and mathematician focused on developing various crypto index models at Weiss Ratings, believes bitcoin would be a great buy at a lower price (as suggested above) because of the following reasons:

  • “The usage of Bitcoin is near all-time highs – 450,000 transactions per day. That’s up from a low of 150,000 in April of 2018 and approaching the all-time high of 490,000 in December of 2017.”
  • “Despite the high transaction volume, fees on the Bitcoin network are at their lowest levels since August of 2017 – more good news for users.”
  • “The Bitcoin block size is now greater than ever before, thanks to the Segwit technology upgrade.”

Villaverde further noted that the predictions are “based on studying the time patterns in Bitcoin's rises and falls throughout its 9 year trading history.” He explained that the time patterns have been analyzed by using an “algorithm-based market cycles model.”

The Chief Analyst at Weiss Ratings also mentioned that the bear market “ended on December 15th 2018 and the model confirmed this shift in trend on March 26th of this year.”

He added:

Then, after the rally that took place starting on April 25th, the same model told me a new bull market was now underway. The same model indicated a 30% to 45% correction due as of late April-early May and we seem to be experiencing that right now.