El Petro is a cryptocurrency developed by the government of Venezuela. Is secured by oil. The first national cryptocurrency in the world. The initiator of its appearance was Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela. The initiative caused a mixed reaction on the part of the Venezuelan parliament and the international community.
The announcement of the new national cryptocurrency was made in December 2017. At that time, Maduro announced that the emission of El Petro was going to be secured by oil at the rate of one barrel per one coin. In the future, gold and diamonds can be used as the securing as well. With the use of the cryptocurrency, Venezuela expects to get over the US economic sanctions and cope with the inflation and other difficulties in their own economy.
The pre-sale of the cryptocurrency started in February 2018. It is supposed that all coins will be issued for one time in the volume of 100 million without any additional emission. At that, 82.4 million coins are available for users on the pre-sale stage.
Initially, the Ethereum blockchain was called as a platform for the issue of El Petro. Then Maduro announced that the coin was going to be issued on the NEM platform, which was later confirmed by the NEM Foundation Company.
First sale results
The cryptocurrency came on sale on February 20th, 2018. On the first pre-sale day, according to the message from the government of Venezuela, $735 million were collected. On February 27th, Maduro announced that 87.2 thousand applications were submitted. At that, 83.7 thousand came from individuals from 127 countries of the world. Among these countries, there were the USA, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Belarus and other states. The remaining 3.5 thousand applications came from companies.
Besides that, the President of Venezuela made an order that the Venezuelan PDVSA oil company and the petrochemical production Petroquimica de Venezuela (Pequiven) as well as the CVG minerals development corporation should carry out a part of their transactions in El Petro.
Criticism of El Petro
The Parliament of Venezuela opposed the initiative of Maduro. The Democratic Unity opposition party that holds a majority in the assembly called El Petro an illegal currency, using which the government was going to solve inner problems.
El Petro also came in for criticism by the United States. The main reason was the possibility to get over the American sanctions as well as a precedent for other countries that are under them, including Russia and North Korea.
Besides that, the observers sceptically estimate the cryptocurrency’s perspectives as, as of the end of February, all achievements of El Petro were declared by the government of Venezuela without any documentary evidence.