This post is also available in: Español
Nicolás Maduro, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, never tires of claiming that the national cryptocurrency, Petro, will be backed by 5 billion barrels of oil reserves. However, an exhaustive Reuters investigation sought to determine whether individuals and businesses in Venezuela will ever use the cryptocurrency promoted by the socialist politician.
Does the Petro Really Exist?
According to residents of the small town of Atapirire, close to Venezuela’s most prolific oil fields, the government has not touched oil reserves. Residents even declared that “there is no sign of Petro there.”
The locals took advantage of the interviews to complain about the poor conditions in which Venezuelan citizens, particularly Atapirire, live, including the lack of electricity, the poor state of buildings, services and transportation routes, and the lack of food.
The Reuters investigation was conducted over four months and included interviews with many crypto enthusiasts and traders in Venezuela, as well as people familiar with the Venezuelan oil industry, only to discover that there had been virtually no economic activity around the controversial and mysterious Petro.
The investigation showed that the Petro had not been listed or supported by any of the country’s major digital currency exchanges, nor were local vendors accepting the Petro.
The only people claiming to have purchased the cryptocurrency in question shared their experiences in forums related to digital assets. While none of the users stated their identity, one individual commented that they had been swindled.
“As of now yes we got scammed, time will tell if it was a good investment or not,” a forum participant identified as cryptoviagra wrote on June 25.
Another person complained that although they were able to buy the Petro token without problems, the cryptocurrency was worthless because of the terrible image it developed after the sanctions imposed by the United States.
In spite of these reports, President Maduro assures the country that more than 3,300 million dollars have been collected thanks to transactions related to the Petro.
Reality and Conflicts
However, Hugbel Roa, a minister working closely with the development of this asset, revealed that no one has been able to use the Petro, nor has any resource been received, as the cryptocurrency was still in the development stage and was impossible to use at the time. The evidence of the contradictions and misunderstandings on the part of Maduro’s government continues to grow.
What is evident in the midst of so much confusion is that contradictory information will have an even more detrimental effect on the already damaged image of the Venezuelan rulers, as well as this failed state cryptocurrency whose information would have been false from the beginning.