There have many been great hacks and scams in the cryptocurrency world: The fall of Mt. Gox, that almost took with it the entire trading and exchange capability of the cryptocurrency industry. The Bitconnect scam, where many fools were conned out of their money by the ponzi scheme. In comparison to the Petro, these were all minor offences. Yes, some people were affected, but this is nothing compared to deceiving an entire country. A ravaged and poor country whose economy is in shambles, all thanks to socialism.
The Petro is the cryptocurrency presented to Venezuelans as the solution to their economic problems. Being declared as the next step for Venezuelan money, the truth is that the Petro is the worst scam ever; the scam of a so-called leader playing with the citizens to buy some time. The idea of the Petro does not sound so bad at first glance, cryptocurrency backed by the oil of a nation should be a little more trustworthy than most pre-mined shitcoins right? But the devil is in the details and its execution that the Petro falls flat.
First we must note the poor technical specs and the lack of responsibility the government has had with the Petro since its inception. When initially proposed, the Petro was announced as an Ethereum token and its whitepaper reflected that. But then a day before launching the pre-ICO sale, it was silently changed to a mosaic in the NEM blockchain. Imagine a serious project changing technologies on the fly a day before its launch.
Now once again, president Nicolas Maduro is relaunching the idea as an X11 based cryptocurrency (basically a clone of Dash). The issuance and mining of this cryptocurrency would be centralized by the state, another sign of the economic freedom this so-called cryptocurrency provides. To make matters worse, unlike Dash’s 45% block reward to masternodes, the Petro gives 85% of the block reward to masternodes which are mostly government owned.
Second, there is the hype: President Nicolas Maduro fooled people into thinking the Petro had been quite successful and he’d made some very bold remarks saying they had raked in $5 billion. Sadly this was not the case as his statement cannot be verified to this day by anyone.
Third, false claims of adoption: It was also conveyed that the Petro, along with all cryptocurrencies, would be accepted as a means of payment in official and state-based businesses. The reality is that when that claim was made, there was no way of collecting payment in Petro due to a lack of infrastructure and the absence of a compatible wallet. Now it is also has been announced that the Petro will be listed in several big exchanges, but no clue has been given about it.
Fourth, legality and sanctions: The Petro was declared illegal by the Venezuelan Legislative Assembly earlier this year, because local resources (oil) may not be used without approval from this entity. This coupled with an executive order issued by president Donald Trump, where he bans American citizens from dealing with the Venezuelan shitcoin, put it in a dire situation. No serious exchange would list the Petro and many like Bitfinex have already declared that they won’t.
It’s clear that Venezuelans have been lied to and scammed when it come to this dud of a cryptocurrency; we hope that the orchestrators of these crimes will someday be brought to justice. The silver lining is that because of this, the people of Venezuela have been exposed to legitimate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and this is something that will empower them to break free from the chains of socialism.