On Thursday February 8, Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment Jose Vielma Mora announced that foreign investors will be accepting payments for their goods in petro. Petro is an oil backed cryptocurrency that is soon to be released in a pre-sale and initial coin offering. Petro’s whitepaper was released on January 30, not long after the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro introduced petro’s ICO plans in December.
Inspiration for the oil backed cryptocurrency came from Hugo Chavez, who envisioned a “strong currency backed by raw materials.” The petro token has excited many foreign investors such as Brazilian business people who claimed to be prepared to invest $300 million in Venezuela, beginning with a $100 million inversion investment.
Jose Vielma Mora noted that foreign countries such as Poland, Denmark, Honduras, Norway, and Vietnam are willing to accept petro in trade for food and medicine. Currently, Canada has been demonstrating interest in investing with Venezuela in the area of “pharmaceutics for humans and animals.”
The petro token is an ERC20 token that has been pre-mined on the Ethereum Blockchain. Each petro is backed by one barrel of oil. The creation of petro has of course carried some critics with it. Members of the Venezuelan opposition parliament find the digital currency to be fraudulent that could help President Maduro avoid sanctions.
Petro’s pre-sale will take place on February 20 and last until March 19. Only 38.4 million tokens will be available for sale at a price of $60. According to the whitepaper, the price of each token is dependant to market fluctuations.
The whitepaper also states that the Venezuelan government will accept petro as payment for national taxes, fees, and public services, and it will be regulated by the Cryptocurrency Superintendency and the National Blockchain Observatory.