Gold, Rabbits and Crypto

For years, Venezuela has been in the headlines for its economic woes, including chronic shortages of food and medicine… The government of Nicolas Maduro has responded with a raft of policies… From a digital currency backed by oil, to urban farming projects that include breeding rabbits and chickens at home, the government in Caracas has not been lacking in creativity.

This year more than $20bn (£15bn) has been raised through cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), according to UK-based portal Coinschedule. In February, Venezuela’s government said it raised $735m with the launch of the “petro” – claiming it was the world’s first virtual currency issued by a sovereign nation.

If that number is true, the petro’s ICO would have been the fourth largest in the world in 2018. But it is hard to verify the government’s claims.

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