Venezuela is determined to become the first Latin American crypto nation, and after several delays, its government finally announced the launch of the Petro as a cryptocurrency created to counteract several of the problems associated with the issuance of traditional fiat money.
As soon as the Petro was announced, the U.S. government began a vigorous campaign against it due to the possibility of bypassing the sanctions unilaterally imposed by this government against the Venezuelan people.
The first “release” date was late March 2018, however, despite the announcements of President Maduro, the controversial crypto was never launched. Nobody could buy nor receive any PTR tokens:
#21Mar Vamos Venezuela 🇻🇪 y mundo 🌍 … ¡La ICO Petro ya arrancó! pic.twitter.com/wZfvH3BMcQ
— Hugbel Roa (@hugbelpsuv) March 21, 2018
#21Mar Let’s go Venezuela, and the entire World. The Petro’s ICO has begun
Subsequently, after several failed attempts and unexpected changes in the architecture of the blockchain, the government announced that on October 1 the Petro ” would be effective as convertible currency in the country.”
¡Lo dijo! 🇻🇪#EnVideo📹 | Pdte. @NicolasMaduro: El primero de octubre, el Petro va a la calle a funcionar como moneda de compra y divisa convertible. Moneda digital de Venezuela para el mundo. Más aquí 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/3ICc4YoX0t
— MIPPCI (@Mippcivzla) October 1, 2018
He said It! #Live / President Nicolas Maduro: Oct 1st, Petro will go live to be used as a convertible currency. A digital currency from Venezuela to the World
However, by then, the Venezuelan community of crypto users was surprised: Not only was the Petro not yet available, but some of the most ambitious changes were made to the Whitepaper on the day of its planned launch.
Finally, at the end of October, the Venezuelan government announced that starting Monday, November 5, the Petros would be available for purchase with cryptocurrencies (through official exchanges in a first stage) and cash (through direct purchases from the National Treasury).
El Petro podrá adquirirse en bolívares soberanos a partir del 5 de noviembre. Más información ➡https://t.co/tuIGsTPRzr … … …
| #Petro #29Oct 🇻🇪 pic.twitter.com/sQfrKRpHUS
— Banco Central de Venezuela (@BCV_ORG_VE) October 29, 2018
Petro will be available for purchase in Sovereign Bolivars [Venezuelas official currency] starting on Nov 5th …
It is also important to note that the Supreme Court of Justice (the country’s highest body with judiciary competencies) ruled the payment of monetary compensation to a Venezuelan worker. The value was determined in 266 Petros.
This sentence has been analyzed by the community of Venezuelan lawyers because, being issued by the country’s highest jurisdictional body, it would imply the recognition of Petro as legal tender.
This approach has been criticized by sectors that oppose the use of cryptocurrencies because they consider that the only legal currency in the country should be the Bolivar.
However, a few days after this ruling, a new decision of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the implementation of the “Constituent Decree on Cryptoactives and the Sovereign Cryptocurrency Petro” issued by the country’s highest legislative body, the National Constituent Assembly.
1/3 El @tsj_venezuela ordenó la implementación del Decreto Constituyente sobre Criptoactivos y la Criptomoneda Soberana Petro con el fin de garantizar una tutela judicial efectiva y proteger el valor de los montos que sean fijados como indemnización por daño moral. pic.twitter.com/mAMj1TfA6A
— TSJ Venezuela (@TSJ_Venezuela) November 2, 2018
Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice ordered the execution of the Constituent Decree on Cryptoactives and the Sovereign Cryptocurrency Petro with the intention of guaranteeing the effective remedy and protect the value of the amounts that are set as moral value
Such Decree is especially important because not only protects Petro but also the text protects and promotes the use of any other cryptocurrency as a legal means of payment:
Promotion and Guarantee of Use
The Venezuelan State shall promote and guarantee the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in public institutions, [and] private companies … inside and outside the national territory.
Until now there are still problems to acquire the Petros. Apparently, they are working on the legal and technological infrastructure necessary to guarantee the success of this strategic decision.