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Venezuela: Maduro Announces Pre-Sale of Petro Cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Tuesday that February 20 will be the date of the pre-sale of the country’s new cryptocurrency, created to outdo the effects of the international blockade imposed by the United States and the European Union.

“Six weeks ago I announced the creation of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency,” said the president, saying that the government has been taking steps to ensure it becomes a reality.

Carlos Vargas, the government’s cryptocurrency superintendent, said in a state television interview, that the presale and the initial offer will be made in hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not yet in bolivars.

“Our responsibility is to put (the petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear,” he said, adding that after the initial sale, the petro could be sold in exchange for local currency.

Vargas also said Tuesday that those mining traditional cryptocurrencies in Venezuela were doing nothing illegal.

“It is an activity that is now perfectly legal,” he explained. “We have had meetings with the Supreme Court so that people who have been victims of seizures and arrests in previous years will have charges dismissed.”

In recent weeks, Maduro has said that the value of the entire petro issuance of 100 million tokens would be just over US$6 billion.
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