E s was one of those typical socialist success stories that the Venezuelan government sets up a dozen times a day. Mostly, it's about a ship carrying as many tons of food as it gets, or the socialist local supply and manufacturing committees providing CLAP with so many food packages to so many families somewhere in the country. On Wednesday, however, Venezuela's head of state Nicolás Maduro announced a world-wide financial message.
For the new state cryptocurrency Petro, $ 735 million worth of purchase intentions had been voiced on the first day. In the style of Bitcoin Venezuela wants to establish its own digital currency whose units are created by computers. Many international media greedily received news of the launch of the first cryptocurrency of a sovereign state and immediately made "revenue" out of the "purchase intentions" reported by Maduro. Venezuela had "cashed" 735 million on the first day of the new digital currency, headlines said. With the planned issue volume of 100 million petro at a reference price of about 60 dollars per unit, the allegedly oil-backed Petro Petro can reach a market volume of $ 6 billion and rise from a standing position in the top ten of the global cryptocurrency
. It is unclear to what extent the purchase intentions will translate into actual cash flows to the troubled Venezuelan state in the current presale phase. Eurasia Group analysts think $ 2 billion is a realistic size. The public offer is scheduled to start on March 20, until then the government is negotiating direct allocations to "institutional investors."
Currency or no currency?
Meanwhile, experts are debating whether Petro is a cryptocurrency at all, as unclear the official comments on the Petro in the corresponding "white paper" were and what could be worth the coverage by the oil reserves in the well-defined oil field Ayacucho 1 in the Orinoco area of Venezuela well. It was also irritating that the blockchain technology planned for the petro's creation had been changed at short notice (from Ethereum to NEM). In the long term, the government even wants to use its own blockchain technology to take control of the creation of the Petros in their own hands. "Great solutions to big problems!" Maduro sounded to the start of the Petro. Venezuela's problems are indeed gigantic.
On the day of the petro launch, three universities published the results of a regular survey on living conditions in Venezuela. According to that, 87 percent of the population now live in poverty, twice as many as when Maduro took office five years ago. Six out of ten Venezuelans go to sleep hungry at night because they have no money for adequate meals. While Maduro fantasized about turning Venezuela's universities and schools into farms for the extremely energy-intensive mining of Petro and other cryptocurrencies, half of the land was out of power. Like petrol, the subsidized electricity in socialist Venezuela is absurdly cheap but chronically scarce.