A Venezuelan official said that Petro’s last first presale was to have international reach, thereby drawing potential investors from the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Just about two months ago, Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro announced his bold plan to introduce the country’s first state-controlled cryptocurrency.
The Petro was going to be a way of escape from US-imposed sanctions, as well as combat hyperinflation in the country.
As part of the US-sanctions, US financial institutions have been banned from lending the South American country any more money, making refinancing Venezuela’s existing debt and acquiring new debt, nearly impossible.
The country sank into debt and despair the more as it experienced an inflation of over 2000%. Citizens continue to suffer through food and medicine shortages.
Nevertheless, as reported by Reuters, US investors were actually part of those interested in participating in the pre-sale of the Petro, which was scheduled for the 20th of February.
According to the news agency report, Carlos Vargas, the Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Superintendent, said the following in reference to the pre-sale:
“On Tuesday, there will be quite a few announcements about the start of the process. And there will surely be a lot of investors from Qatar, Turkey, and other parts of the Middle East, though Europeans and Americans will also participate.”
Vargas didn’t provide further details on his claim.
Maduro has previously blamed by US President Trump’s administration for the country being a casualty of an “economic war.” He has also laid blame at the door of his political opponents, who have referred to the oil-backed Petro as being “tailor-made for corruption” and who have deemed it illegal.
Maduro, nevertheless, went ahead with his plans, resulting in 100 million petros being put up for sale in the next two days.
The US Treasury Department has stated that the virtual currency could actually be in violation of these sanctions. This represents a risk and possibly an illegal investment for US citizens.
Crypto advisers to Venezuela’s government have suggested that 38.4% of the 100 million Petros first be sold in a private sale, with a discount of 60%, and the remainder sold to the public thereafter.