Original art by @modográfico

I’ve been watching with concern how the Venezuelan government says something bold and the media rushes to print it. A prime example? This Tuesday’s extremely confusing petro (PTR) launch. The media says the petro was “launched”, but was it really?

As of today, the official website allows you to register — if you’re patient enough to endure a myriad of errors — maybe you’ll get a confirmation email hours later, which you’ll have to click before the timeout expires and only then you can tell the government how much you’re willing to donate to their cause of ruining Venezuela. And when you click the button to buy, nothing will happen.

You can register with a fake name and passport and say you’re going to buy a gazillion PTR. That’s what was launched. There’s no way to actually buy the damn thing or set up a petro wallet.

The network for transferring PTR allows anyone to see the full record of transactions, and there have been zero —  all petros are controlled by one address.

But the most scandalous statement the government gave (and everyone rushed to print) was that they had raised an amount of money so large that it would put the petro team in the top three valuations for Initial Coin Offerings, above teams backed by deep-pocketed venture capital firms.

Now, I won’t bother to publish the figure here for the same reason one shouldn’t print the names or pictures of mass shooters: when a nefarious actor that you want to stop seeks attention, you ignore it. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and the evidence here is quite weak. The NEM blockchain (the network for transferring PTR) allows anyone to see the full record of transactions, and there have been zero —  all petros are controlled by one address. So how exactly did they raise that much money? On promises that they’ll send investors PTR in a few days? Who is that gullible?

Caption as of February 22nd, 12 noon: the blockchain shows that one address controls 100 million petros (PTR), 78.6 “petros-presale-transfer”, and 38.4 million “petro-presale” (no, we don’t know what these are).

The figure Maduro gave is an anchor. If you read it, it’s now stuck in your head. If you publish it, it’ll be stuck in your readers’ heads. It’s newsy and it’s part of the strategy to sell their coin to as many people as possible. Combine it with the completely made-up $60-per-petro price (remember, the oil backing is false), and an attractive 60% discount (a mind trick – 60% off an arbitrary price), and you’ve got yourself a good strategy to exploit human irrationality and scam fools.

What should we do when Maduro says he got 8 million votes on the Constituyente? When he says he’s partnering with a huge blockchain company that nobody’s heard of? When he swears he raised one hundred madurillion yuans? That’s right: ignore him.

Calma, pueblo; because the petro hasn’t raised a dime. You claim otherwise? Show me the blockchain transactions and the audited government bank accounts. Then we’ll talk.

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75 COMMENTS

  1. But, Alejandro, he’s going to require a certain probably large percentage of Venezuelan Govt. institutions’ “cajas de ahorro” (sic) to invest their worthless bolivares into the worthless Petro, and this, plus perhaps Petro electoral giveaways, may be the only final “success” (valued, as he initially said, in quadrillion yuanes) of this ill-fated venture….

  2. WOW, great article! Keep us posted on this Alejandro! If the Petro is complete flop, huge blow! And these scum are packing their bags to the rumored planes at Santiago Marino airport in Margarita on way to vacation homes in Cuba.

    • Hahahahha poeta!… You could one up yourself where lower level naive wannabe enchufados click on what they think is a mega guiso, and when they click on it, it is the negro de whatsapp with his giant python swinging all the way to the ground and saying your screwed. That would be more accurate.

  3. Pre-announcing “achievements” that never happen is trademark Chavismo. In richer days, Chavez on TV never stopped announcing plans for new industries that never started (remember Iranian engines?), projects that made no sense (Iranian contractors to build apartments?), expropriations that would “energize” the economy. Sean Penn, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and myriad others in U.S. academia believed it – just because Chavez said it. They would not distinguish the present tense (reality) and future tense (empty predictions). And the media? When will we stop over-estimating the wisdom, experience and workrate of “news reporters” who lap this stuff up without any hint of skepticism? Congratulations to Mr. Mchado for

    • Danny Glover and the $18MM movie he never made.

      The diaper factory that would make “Guayucos” and only managed to repackage Procter & Gamble diapers for just enough packages to fill a pallet

      etc

      etc

      • The 14 billion $$$ that jaqueline farías stole to “clean the Guaire river”

        Fast forward years later, and you have the very same chavistas that got ripped off by their leaders laughing and giggling (most probably while touching themselves) at the sight of opposition protesters being thrown into the shit-filled Guaire.

    • Venezuela is a country where the announcements are enough to make people think that the government is doing a lot. That is why they keep announcing the same things over and over. People have a very short memory. Heck, people who graduated from public schools repeat the crap that chavez started public education.

  4. Who is modern times has a worse record of financial mismanagement (of windfall perto fortunes) then Chaviso? The idea that these knuckleheads could skirt the world financial system, never pay back their debts, and start their own currency was folly to begin with. The term “Cuban financial adviser” is itself a howler.

  5. I’m way behind in my knowledge of blockchains, both the actual concepts and the current ecosystems of tools and projects and stuff…

    … but let me get this straight, they switched from Ethereum (which was going to be the pre-Petro blockchain, as per the white paper) to NEM, not telling anybody?

    I guess the evisceration the Ethereum guy made of their whitepaper is the reason for the switch, but it is not precisely something that shows competence and planning and actual work done ahead and… ok, well, not like any of us expected any of that on yet another Chavista bullshit project.

  6. It’s no secret that the Venezuelan power grid (SEN) operates deficiently in the absence of basic investment, maintenance, negligence, etc. Add to the mix the announcement of crypto mining farms at schools, universities undee the Chamba Youth Plan … 8 states in Venezuela are currently in darkness due to power shutdown. Let’s do the math now. Excellent article Alejandro! I’m hooked.

  7. Hmmmmmm, very funny how all of a sudden the Cuban G2 or colectivo trolls show up on CCS Chronicles message board all of a sudden…hmmmmmm

    Hey, I am sure you trolls are paid chapitas to troll this site and cannot even speak English. Nevertheless, if you are worth a crap, ALL WE NEED ARE REAL WORLD NUMBERS!!!

    We are rational here at CCS Chronicles and NUMBERS DO ALL THE TALKING. Yes we also need a bit of TRANSPARENCY (meaning we can independently verify) that you actually raised 735$. Please give us some real world numbers and explain how we can independently verify those claims.

    Until you can do that, you are just a worthless troll and I hope you are paid in Petros.

    All this shows is that the Communists are betting the farm on the Petro. This is how they are going to pay for CLAP boxes that magically show up to everybody the week before the election, election bonuses, pay for corrupt military as well as the election campaign for Maburro. However, nobody will give you money anymore. Waaa! Waaa! Waaa!!! Not even Goldman Sachs will bail you out this time! The international community has you by the balls.

    We all know THE PETRO IS NOTHING MORE THAN A BOND DISGUISED AS A CRYPTOCURRENCY!!! and this is your last hope to paying for the April 22nd elections and launder a bit of hard currency at the same time. That is it.

    Hope you return to Cuba sometime soon: Guantanamo Bay Cuba that is.

    BTW chapitas will be worth more than Petros soon hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaha

    • Wow nice. Way to early for me to if come up with something this good lol. Shitty part it bring a ICO. The sec he knows it’s ALL done he just Cash’s out n walks with EVERYONES MONEY .. SMH

  8. JESUS PEOPLE HOW DAMN RUUUUUUDEA CAN YOU ALL BE. I MEAN SITTING HERE TALKING ABOUT THERE PRESIDENT, COME ON!! COULD YOU IMAGINE IF SOMEONE EVER MADE A BAD COMMENT OR BASHED ON OUR PRESIDENT (TRUMP2020) I MEAN THAT WOULD BE INSANE AND JUST UNHEARD SO SHIW SOME RESPECT people BHAHAHAHA make sure to vote bff’s MURDEO (I spell that rt lmao) AND TRUMP for 2020 #ouchhh

  9. Alejandro, if you are reading this (I hope)

    The first transaction in that address for 445… something? What would that represent?

  10. Some additional info:

    I registered too. Connecting back with the address I had received, I was asked whether I would like to order petros with cryptocurrencies or foreign exchange. I decided for the latter, had to choose between yuan, dollar and euro and then had to indicate how much I was intending to offer. I sure that’s where the numbers of the “intenciones de compra” come from.
    Finally I was directed to the official document to order petros: elpetro.gob.ve/docs/OFERTA FINAL 5.pdf

    They expect their investors to order petros without any information on prices!

  11. […] The petro hasn’t raised a dime […] Ummm Huhhhh Waaaahhh, Ummm Huuuhhh Waaaaahhh. UMMMM Huhhhh WaHHHHH….

    HEY WANKER, PLEASE AT LEAST COMMUNICATE YOURSELF IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH HERE. F&*KING WANKER!!!!

    TROLL ALERT! TROLL ALERT!! TROLL ALERT!!!

    Realize, they hire uneducated baboons for peanuts to troll…just how it works in Venezuela. Less than a dime a dozen, quite literally…just put on a PSUV shirt a few times a month and hopefully they are getting skinnier each time they do. Heard there is no water in the 23rd de Enero.

  12. […] По данным программиста Алехандро Махадо, распродажа Petro проходила без соблюдения KYC – любой желающий мог просто зарегистрироваться на сайте и заказать сколько угодно токенов без последующего выкупа. Также Махадо выразил сомнения в том, что криптовалюта будет подкреплена нефтяными запасами. В документах было указано месторождение №1 Аякучо, но в нём ещё не велась добыча. Да и сама идея привязки криптовалюты к чёрному золоту кажется странной. Чем тогда Petro отличается от того же боливара, доллара или рубля? Ведь если цена на нефть будет снижаться, то стоимость и капитализация токена также пойдут вниз. […]

  13. I liked up to you will receive performed proper here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. in poor health without a doubt come more before again since precisely the similar just about very regularly inside of case you defend this increase.

  14. […] запас криптовалюты — также остается загадкой. Мачадо отмечал, что по факту прикупить немного Petro просто невозможно, […]

  15. Buen dia: Como periodista dejeme felicitarlo por que por fin consigo a alguien afin a mi criterio en cuanto que información publicar y cual ignorar y como dejar de servir de herramienta de manipulacion ideologica a un regimen tan criminal como este de Maduro. Los medios aqui en venezuela están tan corrompidos como el régimen, y la manipulacion de la información es realmente dantesca, por eso estoy de acuerdo con usted en que no podemos darle curso a informaciones que son tan absurdas e incongruentes con la realidad que vivimos, el petro es un fantasma creado por Maduro una de las tantas armas sigilosas en esta guerra tranquila que utiliza para seguir causando muerte , ruina y desolacion en este pobre pais rico.

  16. […] По данным программиста Алехандро Махадо, распродажа Petro проходила без соблюдения KYC – любой желающий мог просто зарегистрироваться на сайте и заказать сколько угодно токенов без последующего выкупа. Также Махадо выразил сомнения в том, что криптовалюта будет подкреплена нефтяными запасами. В документах говорилось о месторождении №1 Аякучо, но в там не ведётся добыча нефти. Да и сама идея привязки криптовалюты к чёрному золоту кажется странной. Чем тогда Petro отличается от того же боливара, доллара или рубля? Ведь если цена на нефть будет снижаться, то стоимость валюты также пойдёт вниз. […]

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