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posted by takyon on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the petros-per-gallon dept.

Enter the 'petro': Venezuela to launch oil-backed cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the "petro" backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy. The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that "the 21st century has arrived!"

"Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency," backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said in his regular Sunday televised broadcast, a five-hour showcase of Christmas songs and dancing. The petro, he said, would help Venezuela "advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

Opposition leaders derided the announcement, which they said needed congressional approval, and some cast doubt on whether the digital currency would ever see the light of day in the midst of turmoil. The real currency, the bolivar, is in freefall, and the country is sorely lacking in basic needs like food and medicine.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:52AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:52AM (#606664)

    so if they have all these resources to back a kryptokurrency, why can't they back their real money again? Oh right. greed and mismanagement. the same thing that will happen to any kryptokurrency they create.

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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:34AM (7 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07 2017, @07:34AM (#606697) Homepage
    Yeah, but this is a step backward too. Venezuela is an inflationary debt-ridden economy currently (apparently because the resource they're sitting on increasing massively in value is making them poorer, don't laugh, that's what's been claimed by the powers that be), and a fully backed currency will prevent the out-of-control government spending that's been their norm for decades - so they'll be shooting themselves in the foot. They'll probably come up with some ability to debase the currency later, to solve that problem, and that debasement will happen by fiat. Add to that the fact that this will be centrally controlled, and it doesn't even have the freedom to trade that normal inventing-value-out-of-hydrocarbon-polluted-air cryptos will have, the corrupt government will be able to shut everything down on a whim.

    And in other news, congrats to XBT for reaching $13000.
    And in other news, congrats to XBT for reaching $14000.
    How d'you like those tulips?
    --
    Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:13AM (3 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:13AM (#606724) Homepage
      Oh, and in other news, congrats XBT for reaching $15000 about an hour after posting the above!
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @05:23PM (#606878)

        Still kicking myself for not mining a few bitcoins when I first heard about it and everybody was CPU mining.

        /me kicks self hard

        Could have paid for not only the plastic surgery I want, but somebody who's practically family to me as well.

        /me kicks self even harder

        Oh, and in other news, congrats XBT for reaching $16000!!

        And that Aventador I want.

        /me presses ⤴K at self, accompanied by cracks as a few ribs break

        Oh, and in other news, congrats XBT for reaching $17000!!!eleven!1!

        /me dies from punctured lung

        Eh, don't worry about me. I'm actually not quite dead yet.

        In fact, I'm getting better! I think I'll go for a walk.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:23PM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:23PM (#607000) Homepage
        Oh, and in other news, congrats to XBT for reaching $16000 (actually 16500) whilst I was in the pub tonight.
        If you're not at 17000 by morning, son, I'll be disappoint.
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:41PM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:41PM (#607022) Homepage
          Oh, in other news, one episode of DS9 later - happy $17.5 XBT, son, I am not disappoint!
          --
          Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:21AM (2 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:21AM (#606728) Journal

      When you have the choice between a currency that loses value like crazy right now and a currency that will lose value like crazy some time in the future I think it can be a rational decision to get the latter. At least you'll have the chance to use some of it before the crash.

      BTW, the short form of bitcoin is "BTC", not "XBT".

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:49AM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07 2017, @09:49AM (#606742) Homepage
        When you're starving - adult Venezualans have lost on average 7kg per person in recent years - the cost-risk-benefit analysis actually starts to favour bloody revolution. (See CPG Grey's vid on Rulers, and his references.)

        The typical non-revolution solution is, however, just to use widely available paper money from elsewhere, the black market in Russia was perfectly happy to use what were referred to as "conventional units" for payment (yes, they were USD).

        XBT has been the ISO standardised code for the currency for *over 4 years*. BTC only made sense if you're in a bubble. BT is the prefix for what would be a Bhutanese currency (such as the BTN). X is the prefix for a currency without national control. If you want to treat it as if it's a global currency, it should follow globally-adopted rules for its currency code.
        https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-gaining-market-based-legitimacy-xbt/
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:42PM (#606798)

          adult Venezualans have lost on average 7kg per person in recent years

          Not to mention all cats and dogs have vanished from the country. Meanwhile in the US the Communists here will claim the struggle is REAL.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @10:42PM (#607023)

    Except they can rewrite the rules and own the greed and mismanagement instead of a currency market that ultimately can be manipulated by some 1st world ultra national behind the scenes with no accountability.

    So yea for the sheeple maybe not much of a difference - well except maybe they can revolt and shoot their corrupt leaders, lot easier than flying to where to the lair of someone like Greenspan...