The cryptocurrency that is supposed to be backed by petroleum, gold, iron, and diamonds as well as the first cryptocurrency created by a government appears to be just a big ICO scam. There is no sign that the Petro actually exists. Currently the Venezuelan government is offering Petro certificates in exchange for major fiat currencies, but buyers do not receive any actual cryptocurrency. The Petro block explorer continues to be non-functional, with no transaction data or blocks viewable, and a fake block counter slowly increasing on the bottom of the page, with no relevance to reality. What’s worse than a shitcoin? A fake shitcoin. Ultimately, the Petro is no better than the Bolivar, since the Venezuelan government can print it at will. In-fact, it might be worse, since at least the Bolivar is a functioning currency, and the Petro cryptocurrency simply does not exist.
The sad part about this story is that if Venezuela launched a real cryptocurrency with a limited coin supply it could save their country’s economy, or even if they just simply adopted Bitcoin. Venezuela is rich in minerals, petroleum, tourism, and natural resources, and the only reason they are having an economic crisis is because their fiat currency has been abused to balance the budget of an out of control and greedy government. The only thing holding Venezuela back is the lack of a stable currency, and a cryptocurrency could have filled that gap, but Maduro and the Venezuelan government is abusing the Petro in a last ditch attempt to make even more money off of Venezuelan’s before his house of cards burns up.
Bloomberg created the Cafe Con Leche Index which measures Venezuelan inflation by purchasing a cup of coffee with a splash of milk at the same Caracas coffee shop at regular intervals. Since 29 October 2018, the day the Petro went on sale to the public, the Bolivar has experienced over 100% inflation, and the chart indicates this inflation is exponentially increasing. Obviously, the launch of the Petro, which is supposed to be backing the Bolivar according to the Venezuelan government, is not slowing down hyperinflation. According to the Cafe Con Leche Index, Venezuelan inflation is 200,000% per year.
If people needed anymore proof that the Petro is a scam, look no further than the Venezuelan government demanding people buy Petro before 1 January 2019, or they will not be allowed to exchange it for any other currencies. Real cryptocurrencies cannot be banned from trading like this, since they are fungible, cryptographically secure and decentralized, and this ban for Petro purchased in 2019 and beyond proves that the Petro is just a non-fungible paper certificate at this point.
It does not make any sense that the Venezuelan government did not launch an actual cryptocurrency. I create cryptocurrencies for $10 USD, the ad is at the top of the site. It is ridiculous that Venezuela cannot make their own cryptocurrency, when people have invested millions of USD, if I can do for it $10.
Fortunately, Venezuelans do have the choice of purchasing actual Bitcoin to quench their desire for a relatively stable currency that holds its value, and there is no reason they need to buy into this government ICO scam. If the Venezuelan government was being honest, they would have just integrated Bitcoin in the first place, since Bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency by far.