The Venezuelan government and the opposition exhibit differing views concerning the release of the petro
11 enero 2018

The National Cryptocurrency Superintendent, Carlos Vargas, announced that the cryptocurrency will begin to be traded in the market in approximately six weeks in a progressive manner. He also indicated that the petro, backed by the nation’s energy reserves, is “cryptoactive”, meaning its “digital value can be exchanged for any currency or asset”. The asset can be purchased through the national cryptoactive exchange houses, as well as in the international exchange houses, according to Decree 3.196. He announced that the petros will be allotted with a procedure similar to that of an auction, although the details of this procedure are still unknown.

On the other hand, he highlighted the registration of thousands of people on the wabpage enabled to this effect . “We have 52 thousand people registered in our National Registry of Digital Mining.”.

The Parliament’s declaration of nullity

The Venezuelan Parliament, with a majority of the opposition political parties, declared the decree of the issuance of the petro cryptocurrency to be null, arguing that it is an “illegal” currency for violating the constitutional provisions on the matter. In this regard, article 12 of the Constitution establishes that oil reserves and the country’s wealth are “inalienable”.

Also, the legislative body noted that “public credit operations” require “a special authorizing law for its validity” and it must go through approval by the National Assembly.

The opposition deputy Jorge Millán, one of the speakers in the parliamentary debate, said that “this cryptocurrency is not a cryptocurrency because it is simply a future sale of Venezuelan oil.”

The private sector, divided

The president of the Federation of Artisans, Micro, Small and Medium Industries and Companies (Fedeindustria), Orlando Camacho, assured the cryptocurrency will benefit the businessmen and the national economy. He argued that through the petro the entrepreneur can “make financial transactions without going through the central banks or the financial blockade.”

Meanwhile, the first vice president of Fedecamaras, Ricardo Cusanno, expressed skepticism about the digital currency. “All (currencies) are based on trust. The petro could be an interesting mechanism to give viability to the foreign currencies, but the national government does not generate that confidence in international markets” said the business leader.

He added that the availability of more oil reserves for the endorsement of the petro is uncertain, as part of them are committed in other agreements with countries such as China and Russia.