Russia has outright denied any involvement in aiding the development of Petro token which is has been touted as the national cryptocurrency by the president. The connection was previously reported by the Time magazine but has now been quashed by Artyom Kozhin. Receiving considerable negative press, the token was also the center of a alleged plan to evade US and international sanctions placed on trade with Russia.
“During the course of the meeting held on February 21, 2018 in Moscow, Venezuela’s Minister of Economy and Finance Mr. [Simon] Zerpa indeed handed over a booklet on the cryptocurrency to the Russian Finance Minister exclusively for the purpose of informing Russian partners about this project.”
Artyom Kozhin – deputy director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Doubts have also been raised on the presidents claims regarding the success of the initial offering, The president claims there have been “intents” to buy from a around 133 countries while having raised over $5 billion. However many have yet to figure out how the discount which the state offered up to 60% in subsidies, figures into the current figures. Furthermore, the congress has also distanced itself from the project signaling uncredibility of the project itself.
To conclude, while rumors of Russian involvement in the development of Petro did surface , the state crypto token launched by the President of Venezuela, Russian authorities have both denied this and further distanced themselves from the project by refusing to accept the token as a payment method for the owed state debt. The Petro sale is still underway but with news of a further discount of 46% being placed on purchases, it remains difficult to gauge the success of the sale itself, with estimates of funds currently raised as low as $2.3 billion despite claims from the president funds raised are closer to $5 billion.