OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela's Petro
Last February, news.Bitcoin.com first reported on the Venezuelan cryptocurrency the petro (PTR) launched by President Nicolas Maduro. Initially, many media reports assumed the digital currency might be phony or nonexistent. However, recent data from a few exchanges and from Venezuelans trading the asset on social media suggests the nation-state issued cryptocurrency is quite real and that locals are trading PTR regularly for goods and services.
Venezuelans Are Swapping the Petro on Exchanges and Social Media
Since the death of Hugo Chavez, when President Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013, Venezuela's economy has spiraled out of control. At the time of writing, Venezuela's inflation rate is a whopping 1,623,656%, making the nation state's fiat currency, the bolivar, pretty much worthless. In an attempt to provide a solution, Maduro created the petro (PTR) cryptocurrency which is allegedly backed by Venezuela's oil reserves. Some Venezuelans believe that eventually the bolivar will be decommissioned and citizens will be forced to use the petro. According to data issued by the government, PTR is supposed to be valued at 246,332 bolivars or $60 per PTR, but this isn't the case right now. The digital currency also didn't have a block explorer when the price base was increased by Maduro and most Venezuelans hadn't seen it being used in the real world.
Our last petro report, however, showed the asset has finally seen the light of day and that Venezuelans are able to purchase PTR through the government agency Sunacrip. Moreover, the government has allowed cryptocurrencies like BTC and LTC to be used for payments in order to acquire petros. Sunacrip even created a state-sanctioned crypto remittance platform that supports BTC, LTC, and other cryptocurrencies. There is a block explorer available now that has an extremely glitchy interface, but Sunacrip has insisted that a fully functional petro block explorer will be released on April 30.