It appears that Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has become quite the crypto-enthusiast and is planning to launch another cryptocurrency – Petro Gold.
According to Reuters, Maduro said in a televised address that the Petro Gold will be launched next Wednesday and will be backed by gold. “Next week I‘m going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro,” Maduro said
It, however, is not clear whether he refers to ingots in the banks or gold in mineral deposits yet to be developed.
This week Maduro unleashed the first national cryptocurrency – the Petro, allegedly backed by Venezuela’s oil. Reportedly, on the first day of the pre-sale the Petro raised $735 million from investors. No further information has been made available.
The Venezuelan president has announced the plans to launch the Petro, which was initially going to be backed by gold and diamonds as well, last December. The purpose of the cryptocurrency is for Venezuela, whose national currency the bolivar has spiraled into hyperinflation and the economy has collapsed, to raise much needed hard currency circumventing the international sanctions.
Analysts, however, have been quite skeptical about the Petro, warning it may quickly become a “shitcoin”. At the same time Venezuela’s parliament, which is controlled by the opposition, said the issuing of the Petro is illegal and an “instrument for corruption”.
The Petro Gold evokes similar skeptical sentiments. Sean Walsh, founder of crypto-asset investment firm Redwood City Ventures, told Reuters it was difficult to reach conclusions about the petro gold without seeing specific details. “Rather than buying a cryptocurrency backed by gold, I’d just go buy the gold,” said Walsh in a telephone interview for the news agency. “Gold is a physical thing that you want to be able to hold in your hands, because that’s the point.”