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posted by takyon on Thursday December 07, @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) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07, @07:34AM (7 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07, @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?
    --
    The "free" in #freearistarchus is the "free" in "free jazz"
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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07, @09:13AM (3 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07, @09:13AM (#606724) Homepage
    Oh, and in other news, congrats XBT for reaching $15000 about an hour after posting the above!
    --
    The "free" in #freearistarchus is the "free" in "free jazz"
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @05:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @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, @09:23PM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07, @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.
      --
      The "free" in #freearistarchus is the "free" in "free jazz"
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07, @10:41PM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07, @10:41PM (#607022) Homepage
        Oh, in other news, one episode of DS9 later - happy $17.5 XBT, son, I am not disappoint!
        --
        The "free" in #freearistarchus is the "free" in "free jazz"
  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday December 07, @09:21AM (2 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @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, @09:49AM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday December 07, @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/
      --
      The "free" in #freearistarchus is the "free" in "free jazz"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @02:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @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.