Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency, Petro (PTR), has officially taken off despite all the challenges. Petro is a government-regulated stable-coin backed by fiat currency, diamond, gold, and iron.

Petro Saving Plan

On Monday, November 5, Venezuela launched Petro Saving Plan. This saving plan is open to all Venezuelans who have a National Identity card, which means that about 18 million Venezuelans can participate in the national saving plan. President Maduro promised to put in 4 million Petros, which is 240 million dollars in the first stage.

According to Tareck El Aissami, Vice President of the economy, the saving plan is scheduled quarterly: “the savings method includes quarterly amortizations and a final payment that can be executed between 90, 180 or up to 270 days”. On the Petro website, the required minimum purchase for the saving plan is 0.01 Petro or 38.95 Bolivars. There’s also a penalty of 0.1 Petro for early withdrawal.

President Nicolas Maduro, who believes that Petro can help the Venezuelans manage in the inflation the country is facing, stated that the cryptocurrency would be launched in March this year, but it never happened. That same month, President Donald Trump made a policy to sanction Venezuela and prohibit Americans from getting involved with anything Petro related – not to buy or own it.

Regardless of the issues and concerns surrounding the cryptocurrency, it was launched on November 1st. According to Tareck El Aissami, Petro can be purchased with fiat currencies such as Euro, US dollar, Yuan, as well as cryptocurrencies such as XEM, ETH, and BTC. One can purchase Petro on the cryptocurrency website or go to 'Superintendency of Cryptoassets and other Related Activities' (Sunacrip) to purchase with cash.

Some Venezuelan government officials and Chinese delegates purchased Petros on the day of the launch, and each one of them was given a purchase certificate. Delcy Rodríguez, Venezuela’s Vice President, tweeted:

The delegation from the China Development Research Center attended the initial sale of el Petro cryptocurrency, and as a sign of confidence, several of its members bought the Venezuelan digital currency.

The Vice President has been working with China to create economic opportunities for the country, and one can say that Chinese delegates investing in Petro by using their Yuan is one of the opportunities.

Petro Is Legal Tender

Venezuela’s Supreme Court, on November 2nd, legally classified Petro as a legal tender, stating that the government “must promote the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment and act as guarantor of such use”. On the same day, the Supreme Tribunal Of Justice (TSJ) ordered the National Institute Of Agricultural Research (Inia) to pay 266 Petros as compensation to a certain Maria Elena Matos, who was injured at her workplace (India). Given the statement of President Nicolas Maduro in August that one Petro will equal to 3,600 Bolivars, and one US dollar is worth 236.40 Bolivars, one can assume that the injured worker will be paid an equivalent of $4,050.

Amidst the criticisms, Petro has moved from a theoretical whitepaper to actually being bought by people and seen as legal tender in the country.