Venezuela’s Controversial Petro Cryptocurrency Is Now Officially on Sale

John Vibes
  • After many delays, the Venezuelan government's controversial fiat cryptocurrency, the Petro, is finally on sale.
  • However, the currency may struggle to find market share among so many trusted and decentralized alternatives.

After many delays, the struggling Venezuelan government has finally begun selling its fiat cryptocurrency, the Petro. Last month, Venezuelan officials issued a statement announcing that the currency was listed on some of the world's largest exchanges, but the listing was nowhere to be found, and the government was silent about the project until the new round of announcements this week.

According to Venezuela’s vice president of the economy, Tareck El Aissami, the Petro can now be purchased directly from the Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip). However, the launch is already off to a rocky start, as the official wallets have been removed from the Google app store, and are no longer available through the Petro website. So far, most of the support for the Petro has come from local politicians, some of whom were photographed purchasing Petro at Sunacrip’s headquarters.

After the purchases, the politicians were given certificates of ownership and answered questions for reporters.

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Petro Backing

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 generated the current economic crisis in the country.

Petro’s recently released whitepaper specifies that the currency is backed by a portfolio of gold oil and diamond. 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. Moreover, many Venezuelan citizens have already become comfortable using more trusted and decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin Cash (BCH), and dash (DASH).

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

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro claims 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 if it is rejected by the citizens. 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 has the potential to turn the crypto into a valuable asset; For now however, it seems that this is a risk not many seem willing to take.

AMD Radeon VII: The Best GPU for Cryptocurrency Mining?

The recently released AMD Radeon VII graphics card appears to be the latest champion of GPU crypto mining, reportedly able to achieve a hash rate of 90 MH/s (90 million hashes per second) without any overclocking when used for mining Ethereum (ETH).

Although AMD announced the card in January, it was not until early April that it started becoming available in retail channels. The Radeon VII, which is around 30% faster than AMD's previous flagship, the RX Vega 64, is manufactured using a 7nm process, has 16GB of HBM2 memory, and has a memory bandwidth of 1TB/s.

According to cryptocurrency news outlet VoskCoin , which as "benchmarked the top coins to mine in 2019," if you want "the most powerful GPU for mining ever," the AMD Radeon VII is the graphics card to buy.

Here are the results obtained by VoskCoin when using the card for mining various popular cryptocurrencies:

Radeon VII mining hashrates stock settings (stock clocks below)
1136 mV 1801 Core 1000 Mem 0 PL 100% Fan

Ethereum — Ethash — Phoenix Miner 4.2c 90 Mh/s @ 319 Watts

Monero — Cryptonight R — SRB Miner 1.8.2 ~2970 H/s @ 245 Watts

Zcoin — MTP — sgminer 0.1.1 3.2 Mh/s @ 320 Watts

Grin — Cuckoo29 — Gminer 1.37 5.1 G/s @ 220 Watts

Beam — Equihash 150_5 — Gminer 1.37 24 Sol/s @ 240 Watts

Ravencoin — X16R — WildRig 0.15.3.8 ~25 Mh/s @ 320 Watts

ProgPoW 30 Mh/s @ 360 Watts

On Monday (April 29), Technology news outlet Wccftech reported that, in stock configuration, RX Vega 64 only manages 32 MH/s, and that the Titan V only manages 69 MH/s. This is pretty impressive since the "Radeon VII is immensely cheaper, now available for $680 – $700, whereas the Titan V is within the $3000 range, and the Radeon VII achieves a higher hash rate per watt."

On Tuesday (April 30), during AMD's earnings call, according to a report by AnandTech, the company revealed that it will be launching their next generation of GPUs (codenamed "Navi"), "which is also being built on TSMC’s 7nm process," in Q3 of this year.

Featured Image Courtesy of AMD