Despite the national parliament having recently unanimously banned the issuance of any natural resource-backed cryptocurrency, controversial Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro is refusing to yield in his pursuit to launch el petro – the proposed national cryptocurrency backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves.

Indeed, Wednesday marked the launch of Petro’s (PTR) new, dedicated website, complete with a 22-page whitepaper. This confirmed a number of details about the token, such as how it will be based on the popular Ethereum token standard, ERC20, and how it is set to be entirely pre-mined in an intelligent Ethereum contract. PTR will serve three purposes: [1] a means of exchange, [2] a digital platform, and [3] a savings and investment facility. The following definition of the Petro was provided:

A sovereign crypto asset backed by oil assets and issued by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on a blockchain platform.”

Regarding divisibility, a total of 100 million tokens will be issued, with 38.4 million offered via a private pre-sale, and 44 million for the initial offering. The remaining 17.6 million will be retained by the Venezuelan Superintendency of Currency and Related Activities (SUPCACVEN).

The initial offer funds will be split amongst the sovereign fund (55%), technological development (15%), ecosystem development (15%), and the ‘Petro project’ (15%).

Pre-sale is scheduled to open on February 20, whilst the initial offer will commence on March 20. Both stages will make use of degressive discounting schemes so as to encourage ongoing buying. The price of one PTR will be roughly $60 (USD) – depending on market fluctuations in the Venezuelan basket barrel.

Just as a satoshi is to one unit of Bitcoin, the ‘mene’ (0.00000001 PTR) will serve as the minimum exchange unit of one Petro.

Citing the liberating potential of the token – which would allegedly see the embattled nation bypass harsh trade sanctions imposed on them by many developed nations – the whitepaper outlined how the “Petro will be an instrument for Venezuela’s economic stability and financial independence.”

Pointing out the “uncertainty” and “instability” of global currencies ever since they were without a gold backing (see: Nixon shock), the whitepaper lamented how “the world economy has suffered…which has been particularly harmful to emerging economies.”

In a swipe at America’s notorious history of exploitation colonialism, the paper went on to outline the slew of proposals courtesy of natural resource-rich countries to instil mechanisms to financially protect themselves, rather than having to depend so heavily on $USD.

After emphasising that these disregarded countries tend to be those rich in natural resources, the explanation ended a bit tongue-in-cheek, with the paper emboldening the text “[that these countries are] often located in emerging economies.

Venezuelan Petro Coins Image From Shutterstock