Oh, Nicolas Maduro… When are you going to take a hint and realize that the people of your country aren’t interested in your silly little Petro coin?

The Petro Isn’t That Popular

In his never-ending quest to push a centralized, socialist form of cryptocurrency, Nicolas Maduro – president of Venezuela – has announced that he will invoke an airdrop in which one unit of Petro will be offered to every public worker living within his country’s borders.

The airdrop is set to take place at around Christmastime. A little gift from the world’s digital Santa Claus, per se, except Maduro doesn’t seem to be waking up to the idea that his people just aren’t interested. The coin has been available to the public for well over a year, but while the currency has continually gotten support from Venezuela’s government officials (and we can assume that much of this support has been forced), very few residents and businesses see the Petro as a valid currency.

At press time, only 400 companies within Venezuela have announced that they will accept the Petro as a method of payment. Maduro, in response, has ordered all companies based in the region to begin accepting the Petro as a means of phasing out the bolivar – Venezuela’s national (and failing) fiat currency – but the fact is that nobody seems interested.

Perhaps the problem is that the Petro has been built on allegedly false information. For example, the currency has been touted since the beginning as being backed by Venezuela’s many oil reserves, though there doesn’t seem to be any mention of this in the cryptocurrency’s whitepaper. In addition, Maduro has constantly stated that billions in units were sold during the currency’s initial coin offering (ICO), which took place nearly two years ago. This, however, is also questionable.

The controversy surrounding the Petro has become so huge that virtually no digital currency trading platforms have agreed to list it. Furthermore, U.S. President Donald Trump later banned Petro trading within American states.

Still, Maduro continues to tout the currency like it’s the 10th wonder of the world, and he’s doing everything in his power to make sure the Venezuelan economy thrives on its shoulders. He says that anybody interested in taking advantage of the airdrop must sign up on Petro App, the official government digital currency wallet launched roughly seven months ago.

These Moves Aren’t Going Anywhere

He says that around 500,000 units are available and are being offered by the state as a means of supporting villages, towns and local governments.

Past measures taken by Maduro to push a Petro-based agenda include ordering the Bank of Venezuela to make Petro units available to all customers and funding a “social housing initiative” that will be paid out in the digital currency.

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