Venezuela will pre-sell its Petro cryptocurrency on February 20
Venezuela’s pre-sale announcement and white paper release detail its plans for the Petro.
A pre-sale for Petro will begin at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time on February 20 and run through 10:59 p.m. on March 19. The pre-sale will issue 38.4% of the total planned supply of 100 million PTR. Because the Petro has been uniquely designed to be backed by the South American nation’s gold, oil and gas reserves – particularly its 300 billion barrels of oil – each pre-sale token is estimated to be valued at $60, based on current market prices for oil.
The white paper’s roadmap also includes a late March ICO of another 44 million PTR and an April listing on digital exchanges. The remaining 17.6% of PTR will be retained by the Venezuelan Superintendency of Currency and Related Activities.
Funds raised in the ICO will be put toward technological development (15%), ecosystem development (15%), roadmap execution and promtoion (15%) and a sovereign fund to support use of the Petro (55%).
By September, the government aims to have state-owned companies making 10% of their commercial transactions in PTR.
For participants of the PTR pre-sale and ICO, the creation of a Petro wallet will automatically generate a unique email address to use to send or receive PTR, which is designed to be usable by Venezuelan citizens to pay for national taxes, fees, contributions and public services.
Venezuela views the Petro as a response to perceived attacks on and oppression of Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, and a solution to its ongoing economic crisis. Maduro said the Petro will provide new forms of international financing to boost Venezuela’s economic and social development.
Because of Venezuela’s financial crisis and extraordinary inflation, the launch of the Petro has been met with skepticism by many analysts cited in news reports.
While no other government has yet issued a cryptocurrency, several have gotten involved in the fast-moving industry. South Korea has cast uncertainty into the market due to its deliberations over whether or not to ban cryptocurrency trading, the US recently subpoenaed exchange Bitfinex and its US dollar-backed cryptocurrency Tether (USDT) over its claim that all USDT are backed by fiat currency, and Texas just issued a cease and desist order against “cryptocurrency bank” AriseBank.