Venezuela's streets were quieter than normal on Tuesday, as a currency devaluation and package of economic measures by populist president Nicolas Maduro went into effect, and the opposition asked storekeepers to shut up shop in protest. Venezuela on Monday cut five zeros from prices and pegged the country’s currency to an obscure state-backed cryptocurrency, as part of a broad set of measures meant to address hyperinflation and an economic crisis.
The pre-sale of Petro began early on Tuesday, the cryptocurrency proposed by the Venezuelan government in recent weeks and backed by the country's natural resources. According to experts, it is “ridiculous”, arguing that the creation of a new currency would aggravate the economic crisis in the Caribbean country.
Venezuela’s “Petro” crypto-currency will attract investments from Turkey, Qatar, the U.S., and Europe, the country’s crypto-currency regulator, Carlos Vargas, told reporters. The Petro will be offered for sale this Tuesday, February 20th, and comes as Venezuela is suffering from quadruple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.
According to the journalist specialized in technology Edgar Rincon, the solution devised by the Venezuelan government to evade the “strong and cruel sanctions of the international community to Venezuela”, the Petro, is not a cryptocurrency because “within the guidelines of the cryptocurrency guide does not fit. ”