Categories: ICO

The Collapse Of Venezuela’s Imaginary Oil Currency

Click here to view original web page at www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Nick Cunningham at Oilprice.com

Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rolled out his latest scheme to rescue his economy, offer an alternative to the increasingly worthless bolivar, and skirt U.S. sanctions on financial transactions. But Maduro’s cryptocurrency, supposedly backed by Venezuela’s oil reserves, is a very hollow promise.

To be sure, few analysts expected much from the “petro,” Maduro’s hastily launched cryptocurrency. One petro was supposed to be backed by one barrel of oil, and the vast reserves of oil located in a specific part of Venezuela were promised as a backstop for the new cryptocurrency. It was always an odd scheme. After all, what makes the petro any different from the bolivar, Venezuela’s official currency? Isn’t the value of and faith in the bolivar also effectively backed by the country’s oil wealth?

Well, the bolivar is worthless, and Maduro wanted to start anew. Maduro thought the petro would help the government avoid the reach of U.S. sanctions, at least in theory. But the new cryptocurrency has unsurprisingly failed to catch on.

The petro is supposed to be backed by 5 billion barrels of oil located in Atapirire, a small town in Venezuela’s remote savanna in the middle of the country. Reserves in this region are the lynchpin of the petro, and as such, they are intended to underwrite the regime’s plan for economic recovery.

But as Reuters details in a special report, the region is not only lacking in oil production, but there is no visible effort at developing oil in this area at all. The only evidence of an oil presence were old rigs that have clearly been inoperable for a long time, as they are rusted out and covered in weeds. “There is no sign of that petro here,” a local resident told Reuters. Worse, the town suffers from blackouts, hunger, poverty and decrepit infrastructure, an increasingly common plight for the country on the whole.

More broadly, there is “little evidence of a thriving petro trade,” Reuters correspondent Brian Ellsworth concluded, after interviewing dozens of cryptocurrency experts over a period of months. Maduro says that the sale of the petro have translated into $3.3 billion in funds for the government, a claim that is suspect, to say the least.

Even a cabinet minister involved in the project told Reuters that “nobody has been able to make use of the petro...nor have any resources been received,” and that the technology for the digital token is still under development. And unlike other initial coin offerings (ICOs) for startup cryptocurrencies, which can point to digital records of transactions, there is little evidence that supports Maduro’s notion that trading activity of the petro is thriving.

Adding to the monetary confusion is the assertion by Maduro that the bolivar is now pegged to the petro. It’s not even clear what that means in practice, and experts say its “unworkable,” according to Reuters. “There is no way to link prices or exchange rates to a token that doesn’t trade, precisely because there is no way to know what it actually sells for,” Alejandro Machado, a Venezuelan computer scientist and cryptocurrency consultant who has closely followed the petro, told Reuters.

It would all be laughable if the economic meltdown in Venezuela wasn’t so dire and the oppression and mismanagement from the Maduro government didn’t exact such massive a human toll.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s oil production continues to erode at a rapid rate. Output fell to just 1.278 million barrels per day in July, down roughly 50,000 bpd from a month earlier and down more than 500,000 bpd since the fourth quarter of 2017.

There is almost no chance of improvement for the foreseeable future. Argus Media reported last week that Venezuela’s crude exports could fall by a third in September because of a tanker collision at an export terminal run by PDVSA. The terminal’s capacity could be hampered by around 425,000 bpd for the month. “But this assumes that PdV manages to repair and restart the dock operations by 30 September at the latest,” a PDVSA terminal official told Argus.

Thus, the meltdown continues. Maduro is going to need to come up with something better than a hapless and inept attempt at a new cryptocurrency to resolve the country’s deep depression.

cinerama

Illuminati, Mason, Anonymous I'll never tell. I can tell you this, global power is shifting and those who have the new intelligence are working to acquire this new force. You matter naught except to yourself, therefore prepare for the least expected and make your place in the new world order.

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
cinerama
Tags: coin crypto cryptocurrencies cryptocurrency initial offering

Recent Posts

  • Bitcoin Business

Robinhood App Encroaches on Banking Turf with High-Yield Money Tool

Popular stock market and crypto trading app Robinhood is going after legacy banks with the relaunch of a cash management… Read More

2 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

The blockchain/crypto week in quotes

“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force.” US… Read More

2 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Art and watch collectors: Here’s how blockchain can stamp out fakes

According to an OECD report on counterfeiting, the world trade in fake goods is worth upwards of S$624 billion a… Read More

2 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Litecoin and the Miami Dolphins Join Hands Over Charity

Who would have known American football and cryptocurrency would go so well together? In a press release, The Miami Dolphins… Read More

8 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Crypto News: Grayscale’s Record Inflows, Shell’s New Blockchain Investment

Increasing amounts of capital are flowing into the crypto and blockchain start-up markets. By following the money, investors can uncover… Read More

8 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

David Koepsell (YICB 07), Co-founder of Encrypgen, LLC and Blockchain in Healthcare Global

David Koepsell is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Encrypgen, a software company creating next-generation blockchain solutions for genomic… Read More

8 hours ago

This website uses cookies. We use these cookies to collect data about your interaction with our website for the purpose of continuously improving your experience with our site. For more information we encourage you to read our privacy policy.

Read More