Is Petro (Petro) the technical savior of the Venezuelan economy or the biggest scam ever made by the government led by President Nicolas Maduro? It depends on the news source you choose.
Considering the highly politicized nature of the coin, it is easy to overlook the nuances: Of course, the coin is Maduro’s favorite “cryptocurrency”, while the opposition leader and the interim president Juan Gua Juan Guaidó said that the oil coin was a downright scam and was “unlawful” under his regime.
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But no matter how politically deadlocked, and no matter who really controls the Venezuelan government, the fact is that Venezuelans have slowly started trading oil coins. They trade on state-approved exchanges and can trade privately. There are many reasons for them to trade oil coins, from practicality to political factors are within their consideration.
Amberes is one of the Venezuelan exchanges that can trade coins. Currently, the Venezuelan government only allows the purchase of petroleum coins (PTR) through authorized exchanges, which can be purchased through Bitcoin or Litecoin, or in cash at its Sunacrip (Venezuela cryptocurrency) office. Amberes spokesman said the exchange is currently the only platform that offers PTR and BTC trading pairs.
The spokesperson revealed that the PTR and BTC trading pair opened two weeks ago, although it did not give a specific transaction volume, but said that this number is growing. In addition, she also mentioned that in Venezuela, the volume of cryptocurrency transactions is increasing year by year. “This provides a new choice for Venezuelans to generate income. Trading is definitely one of them.”
(Amberes's Coin Trading Page, Image Source: Decrypt )
Speculation with oil coins is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Venezuelans who are curious about cryptocurrencies are willing to risk buying this government-backed currency. According to data provided by Amberes, the price of petroleum coins is 0.0059 BTC.
Despite designating it as the official “accounting unit”, the Maduro government has not started using petroleum coins and has not repurchased oil coins from the public. This provides an entry point for traders who chase interest – they can “invest” in oil, just as they can “invest” in any other low-traffic junk. They can now hoard oil coins at very low prices, hoping to make a profit when the government expands the oil currency transaction and starts buying the token.
Others seem to buy this coin purely out of curiosity: "I buy (coin) for understanding it. More importantly, out of curiosity," said a Venezuelan trader who asked not to be named.
The trader added that although he is not sure whether the coin will become a “nationally accepted cryptocurrency”, the currency is currently used “as easily as interbank transfers”. He said that once the Amberes deal "becomes more active," he plans to convert his own oil into Bolivar, the country's legal currency.
However, despite the mysterious veil of Venezuela's official “cryptocurrency”, it still attracts Venezuelan traders, even if the figure is not high.
Another user at Amberes said that although more than 300 coins have been sold on the exchange, there is currently no way to track the trading history of the pair.
Someone is coming, click to buy, and then it's done – almost all buyers are willing to accept such a process. The buy orders they make will be dealt immediately, but the transaction history is invisible. I also sold a portion of the PTR, but I don't see the history of the transaction.
In addition, just before Amberes began trading in oil coins, Venezuelans who bought oil directly from Sunacrip had traded the currency in Telegram's "OTC Trading" group.
Petro Exchange is one of the groups that is dedicated to promoting and promoting oil currency trading. Users in this group will post messages that use oil coins for Bolivar, US dollars or other cryptocurrencies, and interested parties can respond in groups – not private chats – in order to retain the necessary evidence and guarantee Someone witnessed the transaction. The members of the Petro Exchange can also choose to pay the owner a small fee as a custodian fee.
(Oil currency OTC trading group, image source: Decrypt )
Informal business activities are believed to be not new to Venezuelans. They often need to face the shortage of goods, so social networking is an important tool for getting a living. On Facebook, there is a group called perolero (similar to second-hand sales) that is used by Venezuelans to access food, medicine and other basic necessities.
Therefore, the existence of a cryptocurrency trading group is also normal – even a highly politicized cryptocurrency like a coin.
The coin was not going well at first – the credibility of Maduro’s announcement was doubtful. After that, the white paper was suddenly revised and not explained; the commitment to go online on the head exchange; and the unrestricted shutdown of the platform all caused damage to the credit of the coin.
Of course, Maduro launched the oil coin to circumvent Donald Trump's sanctions against the Venezuelan government. Therefore, buying and trading oil, it is likely to be an inevitable political act forever.
In the end, Venezuelans may love and hate oil coins – but not for technical reasons. In this country, even the friend who invites friends to go to the barbecue, where to live, or even buy anything in the supermarket needs to bear certain political consequences. The life of the Venezuelans is dominated by politics.
They may not be able to escape this reality when choosing which cryptocurrency to trade.