Venezuelans Offering Petro at Half the Official Price on LocalBitcoins
Venezuelan state-backed cryptocurrency Petro (PTR) distributed to residents of the country via airdrop is now offered at a considerable discount to the official price.
The value of one PTR cryptocurrency, as per Venezuelan government, is $60. However, it is offered on LocalBitcoins at half the official price.
As per a Reddit thread, Venezuelans are looking at LocalBitcoins to dispose their airdropped Petro amidst catastrophic economic situation. The government carried out an airdrop of Petro (PTR) to 6 million people in December.
The Reddit user asserts that the government earlier permitted the use of Petro to purchase goods via a biometric app, but it quickly ended the practice as people swamped the handful of stores that were technically equipped to handle it.
There are some government backed cryptocurrency exchanges in Venezuela that list PTR, but the transacted price deviates a lot from the “official” price.
The only alternative available for Venezuelans seems to be LocalBitcoins. Numerous buy offers for Petro have been posted on the website, but none seems to be active. Many of the listings are dated June 20, 2019.
Ernesto Pinto, a Petro trader on LocalBitcoins, has clarified that he does purchase Petro in exchange for Bitcoin (BTC) at 0.0036 BTC, which roughly translates to $30 in fiat terms. Pinto revealed that he uses the price traded in Amberescoin as the reference.
However, according to Pinto, holders of Petro are finding it difficult to dilute sell because of huge selling pressure arisen due to airdrop. Those who accept Petro are unable to exchange it, breaking the intended circular economy.
Pinto explained the need for people to dispose PTR at half the official price:
“The majority want to sell it because of an airdrop, where 8 million people want Bolivars because the Bolivar makes it easier to purchase things.”
He also pointed to a Telegram group where exchange of Petros was discussed by Venezuelans. A resident of Maracaibo, the country’s second largest city, sought advice to exchange his PTR holdings. He asked
“Anyone who sells food, rice, flour, sugar etc. and accepts Petros in Maracaibo?”