Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Has Raised $735 Million

Venezuela has announced that the pre-sale of its oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, has attracted $735 million on the first day. The government has also published a buyer’s manual and confirmed that buyers can use “hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars.”

Petro Pre-Sale Starts

The private pre-sale of Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, was scheduled for February 20 at 8:30 am (Venezuela time 04:00 UTC), according to the petro’s whitepaper. However, at midnight local time on February 20, the government announced that the petro pre-sale had started and published a buyer’s manual as well as an anti-money laundering (AML) compliance manual.

Petro’s pre-sale launch event.

A total of 82.4 million petro tokens are offered for the pre-sale phase, the whitepaper details. The country’s vice president, Tareck El Aissami, confirmed from Miraflores Palace on Monday, “The petro cryptocurrency tokens can be purchased by Venezuelan nationals as well as other foreign nationals.”

The Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, was quoted by Telesur TV:

The presale and initial offer will be made in hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars…Our responsibility is to put (the petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear.

Interested buyers can visit the Etherdelta platform to place private orders to the Ethereum address given by the Superintendent. However, at the time of this writing, no orders have been matched and no prices are displayed on the price chart. This could be due to technical glitches in the buying process such as a Javascript error which prevents users from completing their purchases.

According to the Minister for University Education, Science and Technology, Hugbel Roa, the traffic to the petro website “quintupled with the global announcement of the pre-sale of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency,” shortly after midnight local time.

Hugbel Roa’s traffic chart for the petro’s website.

Despite technical challenges, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, claimed:

Venezuela had received $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country’s “petro.”

Instructions to Buy the Petro

Maduro announcing petro’s pre-sale.

“The only thing needed for the petro is to open a digital petro wallet,” according to the petro’s website. “Once opened, your wallet will generate an email address that you can share with anyone who wants to transfer PTR to your wallet. You will be able to receive and deposit your PTRs in this email address.” […]

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