Venezuelan Petro Dead Before It Started as Trump Rings Death Knell for Maduro Regime

On Wednesday the U.S President Donald J. Trump took a major swing at Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro by labelling his leadership illegitimate, and stating his support for opposition leader, Juan Guaido.

Venezuelans flooded the streets to protest Maduro’s regime, while the dictator gave U.S diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. And as political (and actual) carnage continues to rage in the poverty stricken nation, one more cryptocurrency just lost its chance at transforming the world.

The Petro (PTR) – an oil-backed national cryptocurrency – failed to make much of an impact after launch in early 2018. By Q3 of that year Maduro had resorted to attempting to tether the country’s bolivar currency to PTR in an attempt to revive its value.

With Maduro and his regime apparently on the way out, it looks like the Petro will join the hundreds of coins which fail to make it a year past ICO date.

Trump Slams Maduro

The U.S president joined a host of nations in recent weeks who have also decided to stop enabling Nicolas Maduro’s cosplay as a national leader. In Wednesday’s tweet, Trump stated:

“The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.”

In a detailed official statement released by Mike Pence, the President is on record as saying:

“I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy… We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people.”

Chavez’ Petro Dream

You can still find official marketing schlock for the Petro scattered around various ICO review websites. It describes the dream of former communist leader Hugo Chavez to create a cryptocurrency backed by real-world resources that would provide:

“…economic stability and financial independence, coupled with an ambitious and global vision for the creation of a freer, more balanced and fairer international financial system.”

Petro was supposed to be launched on Ethereum, then that changed to the NEM blockchain with the team confirming this, but being sure to distance themselves from any of Maduro’s actions at the time.

The Dream Fails

While El Presidente reported a $735 million influx of cash from the Petro’s presale, no evidence was ever shown to back that up. His plan to tether PTR to the bolivar sent further shockwaves around economist and banking circles in Venezuela, as experts openly ridiculed the idea.

The Petro never made it to CoinMarketCap, and its blockchain explorer features a ‘blocks mined’ number counter, which doesn’t seem to add up to the correct number given the whitepaper’s proposed 1-minute block times. Now, unless the next Venezuelan government feel like putting their own blockchain devs on the project, the almost year-long farce is surely over.

Here lies the Petro (PTR) – it was either a dream as bold as the utopians who spawned it, or a scam just as rotten.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.