The controversial state-backed cryptocurrency of Venezuela, El Petro token, has met further contention after allegedly holding falsified records regarding the initial coin offering (ICO). Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro reported USD 5 billion raised during the event, but both CCN and Criptomoedas Fácil report a discrepancy in the total reported and the amount possible to be raised according to the information on the whitepaper.
The whitepaper for the Petro token records 38,400,000 tokens in total to be sold, each valued at USD 60, and with a 60% discount added during the ICO stage. For each of these tokens to be sold at their valued price, the ICO would have raised USD 2.304 billion before subtracting the discount. The official documents released by Maduro reporting USD 5 billion raised is in direct contradiction to this.
This indicates that either the whitepaper contains misleading information about the actual value of the Petro token or that Maduro announced false claims about the earnings of the ICO.
Following the ICO, Maduro detailed the event received 200,927 participation requests from 133 different countries.
Further Controversies For El Petro
Each unit of El Petro is backed by one barrel of oil in Venezuela, introduced by Maduro to combat economic sanctions due to a what he dubbed a US-led blockade. There are, however, many that challenge the integrity of Maduro’s ambitions, denouncing it as a plan to compensate the lack of oil production that is seeing the state’s economy plummet.
Maduro does not have full support from his government, with the Venezuelan congress recently ruling El Petro as both unconstitutional and illegal. The National Assembly of Venezuela dubbed the currency a fraud, and a threat to potential investors. With many citizens in Venezuela struggling to provide themselves with basic essentials such as food and medicine, there is a call to invest the money raised in the ICO into rebuilding the economy. This would prove logistically challenging, as investors would surely demand compensation.
China-based credit rating firm Dagong see the Petro token as a good investment, however, suggesting it may aid international currency markets.
Other controversies aside, Maduro must address the financial discrepancies regarding the profits made from the ICO for it to be considered legitimate tender on exchange platforms.