In 2017, a man named Rafael Dantus was approached by the Venezuelan government, and asked to develop a new currency. They called it the Petro, and it was touted as a “crypto-currency” that would solve the country’s financial woes, as well as serve as a kind of Pan-American alternative to the U.S. dollar. Dantus accepted the contract and, for a time, continued to promote the Petro as a stable, strong crypto-currency that would revolutionize the global financial system. He was paid in oil for his work. Now, however, Dantus regrets his decision and has pulled out of the project. He has since been working on a new token that utilizes the same
The cryptocurrency, which is backed by the Venezuelan government, has not received the recognition the company had hoped for, according to recent reports. The creator of Petro, who is currently living in exile, wants to create another cryptocurrency that will find the same acceptance in the country as his first development failed to find.
Jimenez thinks the Petro could give Venezuelans some freedom
According to a Deutsche Welle report, Gabriel Jimenez, a 31-year-old programmer, wants to use the reserve token he created to create a crypto currency revolution in Venezuela.
Jimenez, who now lives in the United States, is no stranger to the cryptocurrency community and the government of Nicolas Maduro, as he was once responsible for creating the government-backed cryptocurrency Petro (PTR).
Interestingly, he was no fan of the government and actively participated in the street protests against Maduro. However, Jimenez believes that the creation of the Petro Token was a great idea to give Venezuelans some freedom to circumvent US financial sanctions.
But Jimenez’s expectations of the oil-supported Petro proved wrong. He commented:
I was naive then and it still pains me to see the Petro being used as a political weapon by the government.
In addition, Deutsche Welle cites reports that government officials are even using the Petro for money laundering. Still, the 31-year-old programmer firmly believes that creating this digital asset was a mistake.
Maduro continues to promise that the Petro will become a universally accepted currency
The Venezuelan government’s efforts to make cryptocurrencies accessible and widely accepted by the public have been in the news over the past year. Despite the controversy, Venezuela has become the first nation state to use a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the wild.
In August 2020, Bitcoin.com News reported that the Bolivarian Council of Mayors signed the Venezuelan National Tax Harmonization Agreement on Sunday, making the Petro crypto currency the unit of account for taxes and fines in 305 municipalities.
Yet the government is not giving up on the Petro project. During his annual address to the National Assembly in January 2021, Maduro even talked about reviving the NTR and promised to promote a program for a 100% national digital economy through a comprehensive digitization process.
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