Venezuela plans to launch a second cryptocurrency but is it fool’s gold?

Feb 24, 2018 | 1 comment

A week after launching one cryptocurrency, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has announced a second. PetroGold, which Maduro says will be backed by gold, will join the Petro, which is allegedly backed by oil.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro surrounded by rocks spray painted gold.

In a televised speech, Maduro said PetroGold is coming soon: “Next week, I‘m going to launch the PetroGold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful than the Petro. This will be very popular and strengthen our economy.”

Venezuela’s economy is in desperate need of strengthening. It is mired in the world’s worst recession and boast’s the highest rate of inflation, at over 2,000 percent.

The Wednesday’s announcement comes a day after Caracas launched its oil-backed cryptocurrency, El Petro, which the Socialist leader introduced to bypass political sanctions and fight what he calls an “economic war” waged against Venezuela by the United States.

Maduro claims that in pre-sales, the Petro has been a successful, with first-week sales netting more than $735 million. He did not, however, back this claim with any evidence.

According to government-funded news service Telesur, investors from Brazil, Denmark, Honduras, Poland, Norway, and the Middle East have expressed interest in the Petro, either in accepting it as a form of payment, or investing in it.

Jorge Espinosa, a Latin American currency expert in Bogota, said Maduro’s PetroGold will fail for the same reasons that the Petro will fail. “No one in their right mind trusts him,” says Espinosa. “Did you notice that when he announced PetroGold that he was surrounded by rocks spray painted gold? This is fool’s gold promoted by a fool.”

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