The Venezuelan government last week commenced the pre-sale
of the petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, its supposedly oil-backed
token that it hopes will open the doors to foreign financing
amid tough economic sanctions from the US. The Office of
Foreign Assets Control (Ofac), the US Treasury agency that
administers and enforces economic trade sanctions, has warned
investors that purchasing the coin could be a breach of the
economic restrictions enforced on the country.
Claims from President Nicolas Maduro suggested that initial
demand has been strong, with over 17,000 orders in the pre-sale
stage raising as much as $735 million. But subsequent reports
– and data from the NEM
blockchain on which the Petro is based - show otherwise.
Confidence has not been much improved by Maduro’s
hint at a second cryptocurrency, Petro Oro, which he suggests
will be backed by gold.
The fledgling currency faces a multitude of political,
technical and theoretical...