Petro, the national cryptocurrency of Venezuela, has been in the middle of a series of controversies ever since it was launched. In fact, the whole country is facing quite a bad time as the position of the current president Nicolas Maduro is being questioned by the… another president, the self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó, all in midst of a very severe hyperinflation crisis which led to hunger.
With the inflation in the country skyrocketing to over 1,000,000% last year, the government decided to create the Petro in 2018 and peg it to the national currency. The plan to actually launch an influential cryptocurrency and to solve the inflation can be considered a failure so far, though.
Now, to make matters even worse than they currently are, some people are calling the Petro a fraud and affirming that it was used in money laundering, according to Verifikado, a Spanish-speaking media outlet.
A recent report published by a Latin American exchange called Casa de Cambio Latin American Money affirms that there are suspicions about the origins of the Petro’s funds. Maduro has affirmed that the raised around $735 million USD in order to create the Petro. He even announced an Initial Coin Offering of $3.34 million USD.
However, Casa de Cambio Latin American Money has affirmed, after a technical audit, that no funds were found and that there are no records of them in the blockchain. The exchange argues it was not possible for a regime in so much trouble as Maduro to draw such huge amounts of money so quick.
Because of this, the exchange has accused the Maduro government of money laundering using the Petro using a ghost company called Aerotrading. This company does not seem to exist, according to Casa de Cambio Latin American Money. Another company called Zeus has distanced itself from the agreements, which only makes doubts grow.
The report also affirms that there are at least eight more irregularities in the official report of the creation of the first national crypto ever.
Julio Eduardo Cruces Carvallo, the author of the reports that accuse the government, has affirmed that there is “conclusive evidence” on his technical report that the government of Venezuela is guilty of fraud.
He also added that not only he has conclusive evidence but that there are also signs that the public offer of Petro may have been involved with money laundering as well, which would make the whole thing a fraudulent scheme.
The government has created an exchange in which people can trade their own fiat, BTC, and ETH for Petro, the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities. These offices are accused of being too centralized, as it is the whole supply of Petro as well.
In case you still want to know more about the reports, you can read it here as Verifikado was kind enough to upload the files. The report only has four pages, so if you are very interested in the case you may want to read and take your own conclusions as to whether you believe or not in the accusations.