"With petro, we are witnessing this opportunism on a much grander scale, and the first of its kind".
Crypto specialists and economists see the launch of Petro as a way to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the United States and fight hyper inflation in the country. This coin has faced its fair share of criticism right from the start and was even declared illegal by its own government.
From the beginning, El Petro was promoted under dubious circumstances.
The move comes at a time when Maduro's socialist government is in the midst of a crackdown on domestic freedoms and Caracas' financial transactions have been hamstrung by Western sanctions. "Venezuela is arguably defaulting on its debts, and unless one really believes that this is merely due to outside financial sanctions, there is no reason why this could not happen with the Petro as well".
In January, Maduro announced that over 800,000 young Venezuelans had already been recruited to mine the cryptocurrency. These countries have been battered by US-led sanctions which can cut them off from the American banking system, making it hard to obtain the dollars necessary for many types of commerce.More news: Louisville to vacate 2013 basketball title as sex scandal punishment
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"Petro is born and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela".
OPEC is comprised of some of the world's top oil producers and has enormous sway on the global oil market.
Maduro, the hand-picked successor to the late Chavez, suffers low approval rating, but he's managed to keep his political opponents at bay. The leader of this charge?
It has faced world wide criticism though, with the biggest coming from China, who have launched yuan-priced oil futures, and are trying to persuade the top producers to trade crude in its national currency. The remark came after the so-called "Lima Group" of 12 Latin American nations, Canada and St. Lucia condemned Venezuela for bringing forward this year's presidential election to April 22 despite objections from the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition. Stances on fossil fuels aside, oil is one of the most important industries on the planet, by far.
At current prices ($62 per barrel) 100m petros could help raise around $6bn. "Six weeks ago I announced the creation of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency", the president adding that the government had been working to launch the currency since then. The situation could get worse before it gets better.
Looking into the future, however, if the promise of a cryptographically secured currency lives up to the hype, there will most certainly be a "tokenization" of just about every market, with a lot of unfortunate missteps along the way.