The Venezuelan government announced Oct. 29 that Petro, the country’s embattled cryptocurrency, is now available for sale. It can now be purchased using Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).
“The Petro may be acquired by legal and natural persons from its web portal,” office of the Venezuelan Vice President of the Economy posted on Twitter.
The government has set Petro’s value at $60, attaching it to the price of a barrel of oil.
Petro was launched about sixth month ago but was left in the indeterminate state ever since. However, President Nicolas Maduro’s debt-ridden government has insisted that it must now start functioning as a currency, in spite of strong opposition from the United States, which sees it as a way of circumventing sanctions imposed on the nation.
Maduro supposedly brought in the Petro cryptocurrency as the country’s 2nd unit of currency in a bid to curb crippling hyperinflation. He believes an oil-backed digital currency will help end the economic turmoil that has thrown the South American country into chaos. Many Venezuelans have already crossed the border into the neighboring countries like Ecuador and Brazil, trying to escape their country’s collapsing economy.
Major exchanges reluctant to list Petro
Six virtual exchanges recently added Petro to their platforms. However, the currency is yet to be listed on major cryptocurrency exchanges. Trading platforms like Coinbase and Binance are still wary of the coin and are unwilling to list it due to possible punitive actions by financial regulators from the United States.
Many people remain unconvinced
Though many Venezuelans are excited to have a state-backed digital currency, there are still many critics who deem the currency as nothing more than a scam. Many international analysts have also called the currency a scam. And despite the huge support from the government, Petro has failed to garner the attention and usage Maduro administration had in mind.
Whether or not Petro will help end the prolonged economic turmoil in Venezuela remains to be seen.