Venezuela Central Bank Testing Shift to Cryptocurrencies to Pay State Oil Company Bills

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Venezuela’s central bank is allegedly running tests to determine whether it can add bitcoin and ether to its international reserves at the request of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

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According to a recent report in Bloomberg, the PDVSA is seeking to send Bitcoin and Ethereum to the central bank and have the monetary authority pay the oil company’s bills with cryptocurrency rather than continue to drain the countries fiat holdings which is coming to a three-decade low at $7.9 billion.

In 2018 Venezuela launched its own cryptocurrency, the Petro backed by the country’s oil (the Orinoco in Venezuela contains the world’s largest – an estimated 1.2 trillion barrels of oil resources) and gold reserves (Venezuela has the world’s second-largest exploitable gold reserves total an estimated 10,000 tons).

The Petro’s pre-sale started on 20 February 2018 and ended on 19 March 2018 and the Venezuelan government claimed the pre-sale raised US$3.3 billion. Reuters investigated the Petro six months after its ICO and reported it was an utter failure and there was no indication that the Petro raised the funds claimed nor were Petros being used in any way. 

However, there have been other reports that it’s working. Dash News reported earlier this year that the PetroApp, enables the purchase of the Petro with Dash, Bitcoin, and Litecoin.

“However, there are still many uncertainties about what the Petro is actually worth. The Venezuelan government has supposedly pegged their sovereign bolivar so that “as a ‘unit of account’ the Petro’s value is to be of 9,000 sovereign bolivars”, according to their central bank’s announcement.”

The Petro cryptocurrency does have a Telegram group and a Twitter account if readers want to keep up. The APK for the app can be downloaded on the website. The whitepaper is here.

 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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