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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during the event launching the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency "petro" in Caracas, Venezuela February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Did Venezuela’s ‘Petro’ Cryptocurrency Launch Takes in $735 Million on First Day?

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during the event launching the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency "petro" in Caracas, Venezuela February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

According to the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, says country’s “petro” cryptocurrency pre-sale was triumphant.

He claims the first day of pre-sale raised $735 million, but this may not necessarily mean success.

The Venezuelan Economy

The purpose of the crypto is to help the country to claw its way back up and out of an economic nosedive.

Madura is hopeful that the petro digital coin will assist the struggling OPEC member to sidestep American sanctions. This is a particularly appealing effort for the country as its own currency, the Venezuelan Bolivar has been slipping its way below record lows, battling with hyperinflation as the country’s socialist economy falls apart.

A False Hope?

Experts in blockchain have cautioned investors that it isn’t likely that the petro will draw the type of investment the Venezuelan president is hoping to see. Leaders of the opposition have gone so far as to say that selling the petro will be considered to be the equivalent to the illegal sale of debt insurance. It is not legal as it would skirt the majority opposition legislature in the country.

Moreover, the American Treasury Department also joined into those issuing cautions against the petro, stating that this crypto may violate the U.S. sanctions levied against the country in 2017.

Though Maduro proudly declared his total of the first day’s investments, he withheld any details with regards to the initial investors behind that funding. In fact Maduro presented no evidence whatsoever to support his claims about the investment total. That said, he did underscore that petro was an acceptable transaction method for some gasoline and oil sales as well as for tourism.

Big Petro Claims

“Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman,” said Maduro on the first day of the petro’s launch. He was specifically using the comic book superhero’s name as a reference to the United States.

Earlier this week, the petro’s official website issued a guide for setting up a digital wallet to hold the new crypto. The digital currency will go public in March 2018. According to Carlos Vargas, Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Superintendant, the government of Venezuela predicts that investors in the petro will come from the U.S., the E.U., Turkey and Qatar.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.