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.

Binance Coin (BNB) Has at Least 83 Use Cases, Exchange Claims

The management at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, has claimed that there are at least 83 different use cases for its cryptocurrency, the Binance Coin (BNB).

In March 2019, the Binance team identified around 55 legitimate use cases for BNB. However, after conducting more research, the exchange operator has been able to find more applications for the leading utility token.

According to a blog post published on Binance’s official website (on May 29, 2019), “most of the growth” in use cases for BNB are due to the launch of Binance Chain.

“At Least 24 Projects Publicly Declare” Intentions to Launch Tokens on Binance Chain

The Malta-based exchange’s management explained that since Binance Chain went live in late April 2019, there have been many crypto projects that have expressed an interest in releasing new tokens on the “high-performance blockchain.”

As confirmed by the Binance team, there were “at least 24 projects publicly declaring” that they will be launching crypto tokens on Binance Chain. Explaining how this leads to an increase in BNB use cases, the exchange operator noted that its utility token will be frequently used as “all transactions involving Binance Chain will use BNB” to pay fees.

Moreover, Binance’s blog mentioned that the “more projects use Binance Chain and more people use the tokens on the blockchain, [the] more BNB ends up being used.” Some of the blockchain projects that have launched their native cryptocurrency on Binance Chain include Mithril, Raven protocol, Harmony, ChangeNow, Fantom, among others.

More Ways to “Use, Store, Spend BNB”

As noted by Binance’s management, a relatively large number of new crypto projects are now running on Binance Chain, which has resulted in more ways to “use, store, or spend BNB.” For example, online entertainment-related projects such as Machi X and PlayGame are currently using Binance Chain.

Last month, Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), the CEO of Binance, clarified that Binance Chain “does not challenge Ethereum.” Although there are some Ethereum-based projects that are considering migrating to Binance Chain, CZ said that the exchange’s blockchain network should not be considered an “Ethereum killer.”

When development work first began for Binance Chain (in March 2018), the exchange’s management had stated:

As a public blockchain, Binance Chain will mainly focus on the transfer and trading of blockchain assets, as well as provide new possibilities for the future flow of blockchain assets. Binance Chain will focus on performance, ease-of-use, and liquidity. Binance Coin (BNB) will be upgraded to exist on its own blockchain mainnet, becoming a native coin. At the same time, Binance will transition from being a company to a community.