The Petro starts Monday as an international currency

D. Rodríguez

The first Venezuelan cryptocurrency supported by oil reserves: Petro, begins a new phase. The cryptoactive arrives on Monday as an active "international commercial exchange", with the aim of having the country pay for goods and services with allied countries, without the use of the dollar.

Eight months ago, on March 22, the official sale of the national cryptocurrency began, after the completion of the pre-sale process, in which, according to the government, 200,927 offers of purchase intention were received from 133 countries. Executive data indicate that the collection of up to $ 735 million was achieved in the first "token" offer.

However, experts say unofficially that the placements are not higher than 40 thousand dollars.

Recently, President Nicolás Maduro insured, in a chain, that Petro will be used as a currency of exchange.

"On 1 October, the Petro enters into force as a currency of commercial exchange for the international activities of the Republic, and it goes out to the street to function as a currency of purchase exchange and convertible currency.The first digital oil currency in Venezuela (.. .) is certain that it will be a success, "said the head of state in joint broadcast and radio of the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

Economists are skeptical about how the reception and behavior of the cryptoactive will be abroad, given the precarious economic situation that exists in the country, in addition to the continuing decline in oil production in the past year.

"There are still many doubts about how Petro works for buying and selling, it is known that it is worth a barrel of crude oil (about $ 60) and that each unit is supported with reserves in the Orinoco belt. it accepts as a payment currency, what does it receive? A barrel of crude oil, $ 60 in the future, yuan or ruble? Petro is an elusive cryptoactive, which does not exist, "explains economist Carlos Javier Maldonado.

For the expert, another problem to be solved is "trust in that cryptoactive." Little is known, the information is not clear and accurate, Venezuela is experiencing a deep economic recession, declining oil production, hyperinflation, lack of dollars and opportunities to default. All this scenario, rather complex, is what international investors perceive and the government has few weapons to generate peace of mind if they want to invest in the Petro. "

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, signed an executive order last March forbidding "all transactions" with "any digital currency" issued by the Venezuelan government, in an allusion to the Venezuelan crypto.

For economist Roger Chacín, this is the biggest obstacle to avoiding digital currency on the international market.

"The sanctions are latent, they are not lifted, Washington will sanction everything that transcends Maduro's digital currency – only the Allied countries remain and have historically wanted to become independent from the dollar: Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Syria. China is fully committed to supporting the Petro, this can cause a multiplier effect in other countries, but we will have to wait if this massive support will be given, "said Chacin.

The economist Alexander Guerrero warned on August 21 that people who come with the cryptocurrency of the government tranzar, the petro, could be subject to reprisals.

"To whom the government has wound up its head to carry out transactions with the Petro, know that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US has informed the general public that Petro is an extension of the Venezuelan government's credit. People who invest and trade with Petro would be in violation of Executive Order 13808 and would run the risk of US sanctions such as closing accounts with American banks, "he warned.

In the opinion of the economist Asdrúbal Oliveros, the petro as a cryptoactive "never landed or materialized because he had no confidence in the markets for cryptocurrency, so they came to turn this into a unit account structure and in a rather uneven way" .

Oliveros said that the head of state's plan has many unknowns, mainly the anchoring of the Venezuelans' salary to Petro and that this fluctuates with the price of crude oil on international markets.

"If the salary is ultimately 1,800 sovereign bolivars and the barrel has dropped to 30, then you guarantee that you move the exchange rate at least on a double level to ensure that you have the same amount of bolivars. (…), I do not know whether the government will have the flexibility to raise or lower the exchange rate, "said Oliveros," this plan has too many unexplained elements. "

Others who have joined the criticism are the economist and former finance minister, Rodrigo Cabezas, who assured PANORAMA in an interview that "when evaluating the structure of Petro, anchored in oil reserves, they have a legal and sovereignty problem. 12 of the Constitution prohibits it as guaranteeing the oil reserves, in addition there will not be a good economist who tells you that an oil has a deposit, so the Petro has no value at all. "

Andrés Gómez, a Venezuelan resident in Panama and an expert in cryptocurrency transactions, assured the newspaper that the purchase and sale of "petros" remains a mystery.

"In the list of cryptocurrencies does not appear, does not exist, transactions so far are not given I know that some units (token) were sold months ago, but the market is closed (…) I do not know if the commercialization will officially begin on October 1 (…) everything is a mystery, even its official value in dollars, "he said.

Of the oficialismo, the economist and client of the ANC, David Paravisini, assures that "the Petro comes to liberate Venezuela from the imperial systems that have caused a blockade against the country's economy during these last years. of that yoke of the United States (…) now we can carry out commercial transactions without having to go through the systems of the American banks. "

To date, various countries have shown interest and support to Petro. Russia and China have indicated through their foreign ministries that the Petro is a "way" of Venezuela to prevent US sanctions.

The Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has already declared his willingness to use Petro on behalf of the government of his country and of Turkish investors as currency currency for commercial activities with Venezuela.

"We recognize the creation of the petro and it seems very good to us, if you can use the petro, we like to do that, and we always try to use our local currency in transactions, and that is not only for Venezuela, but also for other countries. with whom we have relationships, "he said.

"Venezuela and Turkey have made a great effort to become independent of the dollar, we are not against any currency, but because Trump uses the dollar as an assault tool, we can not accept it," he emphasized.

Today the Venezuelan cryptoactive starts a long way to take over the international market. There are still a lot of ambiguities to be cleared and time will tell if it will be a successful government mechanism to minimize transactions in physical dollars and reverse this modality through transactions in a virtual currency.

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