Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is claiming that the country has raised $735 million in the first day of a sale for its controversial "petro" cryptocurrency.
Announced late Tuesday night, Maduro offered no evidence to back up the claim, though the messaging notably came directly from his official Twitter account.
A grandes problemas, ¡grandes soluciones! Desde el primer minuto el juego arrancó bien, y arrancamos ganando: 4.777 millones de yuanes o 735 millones de dólares es el resultado inicial de las operaciones de intención de compra del Petro. #AlFuturoConElPetro pic.twitter.com/LoaDgj4rr1
-- Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 21, 2018
Reuters and the Associated Press said that no information about who invested in the pre-sale was offered by Maduro, who unveiled the results during a national broadcast on Tuesday.
That said, Maduro struck bullish notes about the initiative, which he unveiled in December with the intent of using it to circumvent sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.
"Today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman," Maduro was quoted as saying by Reuters, referring to the U.S. by way of the comic book character. AP further cited him: "We have taken a giant step into the 21st century."
The presale was launched Tuesday and is planned to last into next month.
As CoinDesk reported previously, the Venezuelan government claims that the petro token will be backed by a single barrel of oil and tied to the market price from the previous day.
Yet questions remain about which network the token will operate within, given that one document released today highlights the ethereum network, while another, constituting a buyer's guide, cites an alternative blockchain system called NEM.
Conflicting details aside, Venezuela's plan represents the first time that a country has moved to issue its own cryptocurrency. The story has grabbed global headlines and sparked rejections from politicians both inside and outside of the South American country.
Critics, including those from Venezuela's opposition-controlled Congress, have attacked the plan as an illegal act and a vehicle for corruption. Senators from the U.S. have also raised concerns about the expressed plan to avoid sanctions through the cryptocurrency's use, though how that will play out in practice remains to be seen.
Image via Twitter
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at email@example.com.
Australia Warns of Fake 'Tax Collectors' Demanding Bitcoin
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued a warning about would-be scammers trying to con people out of their cryptocurrency.
Since late last year, scammers have been calling Australians and impe
Bitcoin briefly falls below $8,000 after Google says it will ban cryptocurrency ads
Bitcoin prices briefly fell below $8,000 on Wednesday following news that Google, the world's largest online ad provider, plans to ban cryptocurrency advertising. Facebook, the second largest
Crypto Is a 'Crock'? Twitter Reacts to House ICO Hearing
Despite the overall measured tone among lawmakers at Wednesday's House subcommittee hearing on initial coin offerings, a few members of the panel made inflammatory statements.
Social media users re
UK Crypto Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Futures Contracts
A British cryptocurrency exchange is planning to enter the bitcoin futures market.
CoinfloorEX, a London-based exchange founded in 2013, announced Wednesday that it would launch bitcoin futures con
Congressional hearing on cryptocurrencies devolves into bitcoin bash fest
A House Financial Services subcommittee met Wednesday in what was supposed to be an overview of the cryptocurrency landscape. The two-hour hearing raised more questions than answers, and shined a
Square closes near all-time high after analyst compares stock to early days of Amazon
Shares of Square hit a new all-time intraday high Wednesday, jumping more than 5 percent after an analyst report compared the stock to 'Amazon in its early days.' Shares closed at $54.60
Bitcoin Price Sheds $800 In Drop to 1-Month Low
Bitcoin hit a one-month low on Wednesday as its price slipped below $8,300 during afternoon trading.
CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) had fallen to as low as $8,287.98 as of press time, represe
Brazilian Officials Caught Using Bitcoin in $22 Million Scam
Police officials in Rio de Janerio have uncovered a money laundering scheme in which state officials siphoned off money intended for prison supplies, using bitcoin to exchange some of the proceeds.