The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro on Monday announced the end of the first phase of the Petro presale. The Venezuelan leader stated that the sale had brought in the equivalent of $3 billion and gave the names of 16 exchanges that have been approved by the government to list the national cryptocurrency.
According to Correo del Orinoco, the government backed newspaper, the 16 exchanges that were certified by the government are “Criptoexchainge, Criptocapital, Asesoría Financiaera CA, Italcambio, Amberes Coin, Cave Blockchainge, Valoratta Casa de Bolsa, Coinsecure.ve, Critiaechainge, Criptolago, Criptoventraige CA, Criptoactivo Menets CA, Criptoactivo Bancar CA, Criptomundo Casa de Intercambio CA, Inversiones Financieras 1444 CA, [and] Criptoactivo Criptoes,”.
These exchanges will facilitate transactions of the Petro in the international market. It is apparent that with the listing, it would become a tradable asset. President Maduro had during the inauguration of the Venezuelan Power Expo at Caracas on April 28, 2018 said that “The certification of these 16 exchanges is a demonstration of confidence in the system of the Petro, as a cryptocurrency, and will allow liquidity and solid transactional volume”.
Prior to the announcement, the country had cracked down on “unapproved” exchanges in the country in an operation dubbed “Operation Paper Hand”.
In an interview with Mohit Kalra, Coinsecure CEO whose exchange is one of those approved to list the Petro, Kalra confirmed the information saying, “Venezuela wanted to add Petro as a cryptocurrency on Coinseure, so they can trade Petro against bitcoin and the rupee”
The Venezuelan government has offered India 30% discount on purchases of Venezuelan oil if the country pays with petro, an incentive that would be difficult to turn down. India imports $150 billion worth of oil annually and would probably jump at the offer unless some big powers put pressure on them not to, which is unlikely.
A Petro success will be a win-win situation for Venezuela, her trade partners and even the exchanges some of which there have been insinuations by some analysts that they may not want to list the Petro. It is very certain that all the exchanges will have the petro listed as soon as they can. The ad space the awareness created by the Venezuelan certification has given them is enough incentive to do so.
In his speech to announce the official closing of the Petro Presale, Maduro called the accomplishment “a miracle” stating that the presale raised 3,338 million dollars. A breakdown shows that 2.744 billion euros, 208.337 rubles and 21.118 billion yuan was realized in the sales. The president said that he will inject $1 billion into the economy from the fund.
Maduro said that he will continue to promote the cryptocurrency. All national and international airlines in the country would start purchasing aviation fuel using Petro. An economic fund will also be made available for credit all in an effort at promoting the digital currency.
The Venezuelan economy has been on the downturn and the country is hoping that Petro will help invigorate the ailing economy. Hopefully, with a little more effort and support, the crypto may just be the lifeline the economy needs to survive crippling sanctions and runaway inflation.