One day after Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency was declared illegal, the government of president Nicolas Maduro announced plans to pre-mine the petro. The new currency is expected to launch in six weeks.
The Venezuelan Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities, Carlos Vargas, announced during a Venezolana de Televisión broadcast on Wednesday, as reported by El Universal:
“The petro will not be minable but will be pre-mined, that is, the complete emission will be under the control of the country. In addition, it will be assigned with a procedure similar to that of an auction”, “In a period of a month and a half, the sale of the petro cryptocurrency will take place and people will be able to create their digital wallets”, the superintendent added.
He further explained, “We will have a cryptocurrency whose verification and use in all exchange houses…will be supported under a widely known platform, which will allow the petro to be marketed anywhere in the world without major restrictions.”
Vargas did not name any existing token platforms. However, the most widely known platform often used to create tokens marketed worldwide is the Ethereum ERC20 protocol, which requires the coins be pre-mined. On the Venezuelan Ministry of Communications website, there is an image of ethereum tokens with the word “petro” in its file name, a Reddit user pointed out.
Since the announcement of the petro in early December, Maduro claims to have been recruiting miners all over the country to mine his new currency. He created a registry, which will remain open until January 20 for all miners in the country to sign up.
With Wednesday’s revelation that the petro will only be pre-mined, Vargas stated that the registration “is an inscription to register mining. This is a public record of the people who have mined cryptocurrencies,” El Universal conveyed.
While crypto mining is not illegal in Venezuela, there have been some arrests for electricity theft in the past. Citing that mining activities generate significant revenues and subsequently income for the sector, Vargas explained that with the registry:
“People will be able to mine without the fear that they will be persecuted, and all those miners are invited to a meeting that is being organized for mining.”
The superintendent’s announcement came just one day after the petro was declared illegal by the Venezuelan National Assembly. Vargas described the decision by the Assembly as contemptuous to his country, citing that the petro offers Venezuelans an immediate possibility of protecting themselves “against inflationary indices.”
In addition, he claims that there is a group of opposition leaders who will participate in the petro “who want to incorporate, who want to protect their assets, and who want to protect their money.”
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