Venezuelan President Doubles Price of Country’s Cryptocurrency
Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan President, has announced the price increase of Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency known as the Petro. The price, which came into effect on Friday, November 30, was announced by the President on state television. Maduro also increased the monthly minimum wage of the country by 150 percent, making it the sixth time the rate has been hiked this year.
According to Bloomberg, “The price for the Petro cryptocurrency will rise from 3,600 sovereign bolivars [Bs.s] to 9,000.”
Back in August, the President linked the price of the sovereign bolivar (bolívar soberano) – Venezuela’s main currency since August 20 this year – to the Petro. In the words of Maduro at the time, “Each Petro, as the anchor point of the sovereign bolívar, will have a value of 3,600 Bs.s.”
This news has understandably not gone down well with citizens of the country.
Leonardo Buniak, a Venezuelan economist, gave his views on the latest announcement by the President. A local news outlet, Atodomomento, quoted him as saying that the “Petro was worth 3,600 Bs.s because the Dicom dollar cost 60 and the oil cost 60.” Buniak further noted that “now a Petro is decreed at 9,000 Bs.s… you have just devalued the sovereign bolívar with respect to the Petro and by more than 100%.” The economist elaborated on his misgivings by stating that “anchoring the bolívar to the Petro is anchoring it to nothing.”
Not done, Buniak also claimed that the “Petro cannot be called a cryptocurrency because the value was given by President Maduro and not the interaction between supply and demand.”
It is easy to see why the announcement has triggered criticism from all corners. As at the time of this writing, there is no available wallet for the Petro. Attempting to download the wallet through the links for Linux and Windows will yield the pop-up message: “This wallet will soon be available for your operating system.” Not only that, Venezuela’s Economic Minister and former Vice President, Tarek El Aissami, has blamed Google for removing the wallet’s Android app from its play store.
Independent confirmation of the functionality or existence of the coin is virtually impossible since the Petro code has not been made public. In addition, there are no published data or charts that show the Petro network’s health such as transaction throughput, network activity, mining hash rate, confirmation times, or any other normal crypto statistics.
The block explorer of the Venezuelan government, on its own part, shows “a total of 3,138 block despite the Petro’s white paper’s description of one block per minute.”
President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the price of his country’s national cryptocurrency to increase from 3,600 sovereign bolivars to 9,000. This announcement, which was done on state television, is coming against the fact that the wallet for the cryptocurrency is still unavailable.
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