President Nicolas Maduro announces that 860,811 young people have registered to mine the Petro, the new national cryptocurrency of Venezuela.
PAPER VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS
Economically, Venezuela has been in terrible shape for a number of years. The failed socialist policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have destroyed the national economy, caused massive hyperinflation, and led to a humanitarian crisis where food and medicine are in short supply.
In such times, many have turned to mining Bitcoin in order to survive, but such individualistic practices are not supported by the national government. Maduro declared last December the creation of a national cryptocurrency called the Petro, and he recently announced that 860,811 young people have registered to mine the new virtual currency.
MANDATORY REGISTRY AND THE CREATION OF THE PETRO
It was just last month that Bitcoin miners had to join an online registry in order to legally keep mining. Some argued that the registry offered legal protection to miners. However, some cynical folks thought that such a registry would just serve to give the state a list of names and places to keep tabs on and, possibly, eventually confiscate mining tech. There have been quite a few reports of police and government authorities seizing mining computers and using them for their own gain.
Into the economic maelstrom of woe came a new hope. President Maduro announced in December 2017 the creation of the Petro cryptocurrency. This new virtual currency would allow the country to help negate the effects of US-led sanctions and would be based on the country’s stock of gold and diamond holdings, as well as over 5 billion barrels of oil. In his announcement of the Petro, Maduro said:
Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency … the ‘petro’, to advance issues of monetary sovereignty, make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade … This is going to allow us to move toward new forms of international financing for the country’s economic and social development.
TAPPING THE YOUTH
It appears that Venezuela is going full-bore on mining Petro. Supposedly 860,811 young people have signed up to begin mining the cryptocurrency. The government seems focused on incorporating young people into the project, probably due to their increased familiarity with the crypto world. These young people are going to be tasked with setting up mining farms.
Of this project, President Maduro notes:
We are going to call them, a special cryptocurrency team, to set up mining criptomenoda farms in all the states and municipalities of the country.
So it appears that the government will be setting up their own mining farms. One wonders how many confiscated computers are being used for such an endeavor. Of the over 860K signups, it’s reported that 300,000 are already in “productive tasks,” whatever that means. It would be interesting to see how many of the over 860K signups also appeared on the mandatory registry list.
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