President Nicolás Maduro announced the early release of the cryptocurrency backed by oil assets. ‘The currency can be traded safely and directly to avoid blockages and embargoes’, said Maduro after signing the ‘White Paper’ of Petro, the document which lists the characteristics and operation of the cryptocurrency. It can be purchased through the national cryptoactive exchange houses, as well as in the international exchange houses, according to decree Nº 3.196.
The White Paper, signed by the president, urges to sell 38.4% of all petros that will go into circulation, from February 20th to March 19th. The percentage would represent a nominal value of around US$ 2.300 million. The socialist administration will sell the first petros in a private issue at the price of a barrel of local crude (equivalent to US$ 60) per unit.
Another 44%, which stand for 44 million petros with a nominal value of US$ 2.700 million, would be offered to the public as of March 20th. The remaining petros would be given to the Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Venezuelan Activities (Superintendencia de Criptomonedas y Actividades Conexas Venezolanas – SUPCACVEN). This institution, which will be in charge of supervising the transaction of the Petro, reported that, in a first stage, the new digital currency will be offered in dollars or in other cryptocurrencies and not in the weakened local currency, the bolivar.
The petro was created as a result of the efforts the oil nation is making to increase its foreign exchange income. Venezuela is amid a severe economic crisis and ostracized from financial markets by the sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries.