Venezuelan President Claims ‘Petro’ Has Received 171,000 Pre-registrations

Nicolas Maduro Venezuela Petro
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The initial coin offering (ICO) presale for Venezuela’s high-profile ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency has been a resounding success — at least according to state-run media outlets.

Venezuela Claims ‘Petro’ Cryptocurrency Has Received 171,000 Intents to Contribute

On Monday, Nicolas Maduro announced through the official presidential Twitter account that more than 171,000 individuals and companies had pre-registered for the Petro presale, which opened last week.

According to the government, 40.8 percent of contributors intend to complete the transaction with USD, while another 6.5 percent will make their purchase with EUR. Bitcoin and Ethereum are also prominent, accounting for 33.8 percent and 18.4 percent of all pre-registrations, respectively.

Astute observers will note that those figures add up to just 99.5 percent, but the government did not explain this discrepancy.

Notably absent from the list of accepted currencies is the bolivar — Venezuela’s hyperinflated fiat currency that is on the brink of absolute collapse.

The government also said that 3,523 companies had registered to buy the Petro.

As CCN has reported, the token sale for the supposedly oil-backed Petro has been fraught with difficulties, and although the government claims that the ICO presale raised $735 million in its first day, most observers believe this number is a pure fabrication.

Indeed, despite these grand claims about the Petro’s success, Venezuela has yet to publicly name any of the contributors, and a NEM wallet believed to belong to the government has yet to distribute any of the 100 million Petro tokens available in the presale.

Venezuela Turns to Petro to Evade US Sanctions

Nevertheless, Venezuela continues to laud the Petro as a tool to evade economic sanctions levied against the country by the US, which — assuming the presale figures are inaccurate — is likely why the government has listed USD as the most-used currency among ICO contributors.

Venezuela has even said that it intends to launch a second state-backed cryptocurrency — Petro Gold — although it has not revealed when this token will be released.

Several other countries facing international sanctions have considered adopting government-sponsored cryptocurrencies as well. Russia, whose relationship with the US continues to worse, is planning to launch a “CryptoRuble,” while both Iran and Turkey have discussed similar plans in recent days.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.