Venezuelan opposition labels Maduro’s Petro as “tailor-made for corruption”

Rhys Muter 11 January 2018 NEWS

Petro Article - ITI

Venezuelan opposition declares the Petro null and void as Maduro readies the first issue of the cryptocurrency.

The Venezuelan opposition has today declared the embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s issuance of the Petro to be “null and void”. This was announced by legislator Jorge Millan during a televised parliamentary sitting. Making the announcement from the Venezuelan congress, Millan billed the impending Petro as “tailor-made for corruption.”

The Venezuelan congress has largely been neutered by the election, a new legislative body called the “constituent assembly” and a judiciary that routinely blocks all legislation passed from the Venezuelan congress.

Venezuela saw brutal public demonstrations as a result of the election, amidst ongoing inflation of the national currency, the Bolivar. The protests, which engulfed President Maduro in international scandal and very nearly lead to his impeachment, have now largely subsided and will be a sore point among constituents for President Maduro as he seeks re-election this year.

The opposition announcement comes hot on the heels of President Maduro’s announcement on 7 January confirming that 100 million units of the Petro were to be issued. This will be a point of conversation at the upcoming Petro miners meeting on 14 January. The meeting is likely to be well attended considering that the list of registered Petro miners within Venezuela continues to burgeon, nearing 1 million registered miners across the “banana republic”.

The Petro will be backed by Venezuelan reserves of oil, and considering that proven reserves equate to 5.342 billion barrels of oil valued at US$267 billion, that would make the Petro the world’s largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation. For the Maduro government, the Petro is seen as a means to open new financial and commodity markets with the aim to “escape Western sanctions”.

The Obama administration placed sanctions on the Venezuelan economy in March 2015 citing a “national security” threat. Those sanctions have been gradually widened by the United States Treasury Department since then.

Only time will tell the impacts of the Petro on the Venezuelan economy, but for blockchain enthusiasts, the fact that Venezuela is the first nation to issue a blockchain-based national currency is groundbreaking news in the world of monetary economics.

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