February 23, 2018
Why Venezuela Should Worry About a National Crypto
Journalist Michael del Castillo
While not many things are clear about Venezuela's new state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, what is apparent is that many think it's potentially harmful for the country's people.
Hard and fast details have been sparse about the crypto token launched by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Feb. 20. But, from its inception, the cryptocurrency was touted by the leader as a way to bypass financial sanctions (last month alone, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned four Venezuelan generals for corruption).
Amid those concerns about the oil-backed crypto, which supposedly raised $735 million on the first day of its pre-sale, many former and current government officials are uneasy about the thought of a potential Orwellian disaster that it might bring, too.
"Cryptocurrencies combine convenience and freedom of cash with the potential of total control of all operations," according to Artem Duvanov, the director of Moscow Exchange Group's National Settlement Depository, which is experimenting with blockchain for a number of use cases.
"If the government wants to introduce some control on operations done via crypto on its territory, it does make a lot of sense to issue its own cryptocurrency," he said.
Read the full article in Coindesk.