Launch of Venezuelan ‘Petro’ Cryptocurrency Reportedly Imminent

December 29, 2017 11:29 PM

A nation with a severely distressed economy is about to embark on a questionable cryptocurrency experiment.

Less than one month after announcing the development of a natural resource-backed cryptocurrency, Venezuelan authorities are reportedly set to launch a criptomoneda dubbed the “Petro.”

According to Venezuela’s communications minister, Jorge Rodriguez, the Petro will be backed by 5.3 billion barrels of oil – equivalent to approximately $267 billion. For comparison’s sake, at the time of publication, the market cap of bitcoin is approximately $248 billion.

Rodriguez explained, “Camp one of the Ayacucho block will form the initial backing of this cryptocurrency.” The Ayacucho block is located within the southern Orinoco Belt, which overlies the largest deposits of petroleum in the world.

While the most popular cryptocurrencies are based purely on social value, the Petro is an asset-backed cryptocurrency – though the circumstances of the state-owned company allocating the oil might be suspect. As the New York Times reported in late November, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro recently appointed a general with no energy experience to lead Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

To make matters more troubling, few – if any – technical details have been provided about how the Petro will actually function.

Which blockchain will it operate on? What sort of settlement mechanisms are in place? And, more pressingly, what happens if the country fails to pull off this feat?

Nonetheless, Rodriguez claimed that miners are already lined up – even after the governmental crackdown on mining of bitcoin and other non-fiat cryptocurrencies.

“It will be materially impossible for the dictatorial financial centers of the world to intervene against this initiative,” said Rodriguez. The Petro “will allow us to overcome any financial blockade.”

Despite his optimism, earlier this month opposition legislators decried the Petro. Politician Angel Alvarado said, “It’s Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility.” Fellow opposition legislator Jose Guerra agreed, saying “I see no future in this.”

Matthew is a writer with a passion for emerging technology. Prior to joining ETHNews, he interned for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the OECD. He graduated cum laude from Georgetown University where he studied international economics. In his spare time, Matthew loves playing basketball and listening to podcasts. He currently lives in Los Angeles. Matthew is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews.

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Cryptocoinopoly Is the Game That Lets You Play the Cryptocurrency Markets with Friends

Cryptocoinopoly Is the Game That Lets You Play the Cryptocurrency Markets with Friends


Someone was bound to create a cryptocurrency version of Monopoly. Well now they have, enabling you to gather friends and family to trade fake fiat currency for fake crypto. Playing with ersatz money won’t make the competition any less intense as you clamor to snap up Mayfair – or Bitcoin Core as it’s now known.

Also read: Poloniex Now Requires Legacy Trading Accounts to Verify Identity

Go to Hodl, Do Not Pass Go

The odds of an officially licensed version of crypto Monopoly being released seem as remote as ripple becoming a $10 coin. In other words, anything’s possible. For now though, hodlers can content themselves with printing their own version of the unofficial board recently shared by redditor ronoxe.

It features many of your favorite cryptocurrencies – plus a few you’re sure to loathe. “What the hell is cardano doing in the greens?” “Who put tron in there?” “Whose bright idea was it to add EOS?” All these points can be argued as you make your way around the board, skipping jail, rebranded as ‘hodl’, and trying to avoid paying capital gains tax. For crypto traders who aren’t getting enough of a buzz from the game, there’s nothing to stop you from playing with real crypto; the winner receives everyone’s cheapest alt bag.

Cryptocoinopoly Is the Game That Lets You Play the Cryptocurrency Markets with Friends

Monopolize the Crypto Markets

One of the most fascinating things about Cryptocoinopoly is that it provides a snapshot of the markets at the point of the game’s creation. Were the board to be developed today, ripple certainly wouldn’t be languishing in the yellows; what a difference a week makes. It will be interesting to see which cryptocurrencies have traded places a year from now – and which will have been banished from the board altogether.

Cryptocoinopoly Is the Game That Lets You Play the Cryptocurrency Markets with Friends

Since anyone is free to create their own version of Monopoly (even if Hasbro would prefer that they didn’t), it raises the possibility of there being competing editions of the game, each claiming to be the true Cryptocoinopoly. Highlights of this sharply designed edition include the orange properties, occupied by verge, Zcash, and monero, which shall henceforth be dubbed Privacy Street, plus the free parking square which is now ‘free market’. Instead of adding houses and hotels, players acquire cryptocurrency miners.

Cryptocoinopoly Is the Game That Lets You Play the Cryptocurrency Markets with Friends

The game even has its own Github repository, which explains the objective as follows:

Acquire some of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the internet, charge players network fees for landing on your cryptos and collect money. Use your money to acquire more cryptocurrencies, build mining rigs and farms and become a whale in the crypto-world.

Monopoly has a storied history dating back to to 1903, when anti-monopolist Elizabeth Magie created The Landlord’s Game, as it was then known. This precursor to Monopoly was intended to illustrate the downsides to having land concentrated in private monopolies. In other words, it was a primer on the dangers of centralization. It seems fitting, 115 years on, that Monopoly should be reimagined as an introduction to decentralized currency.

What would you change on the Cryptocoinopoly board? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Cryptocoinopoly.

Play with confidence! We guarantee that every Video Poker game you play at Bitcoin Games is completely fair. You will be dealt a completely random deck of cards every game, and we can provably demonstrate that we have in no way manipulated the shuffle.

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A Deeper Dive Into Dash and Its Explosive Year — Dash

Dash (DASH) is having a phenomenal year — just one year ago, Dash was worth about $10 per coin. This past week, Dash broke the $1000 barrier and at press time is trading for $1531.


Dash runs a proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

A portmanteau of “Digital Cash,” Dash aims to be just that: a realistic, reliable digital cash solution for the global economy.

While Bitcoin and Ethereum look for off chain solutions to scalability, Dash has a rather ingenious on-chain solution to keep all transaction validations on the blockchain.

The Rise

In June of 2017, Dash really started to take off — the daily trade volume spiked to $100 million/day several times throughout the month and it became the one of the most talked about coins on Bitcoin Talk.

ASU is one of the largest colleges in the U.S. with a population of 71,946 students.

Dash’s developer community eventually reached to 30 full-time and 20 part-time employees, all who are paid by Dash’s budget system. This budget system is run by crypto’s first ever DAO, otherwise known as a decentralized autonomous organization.

In August of this year, Dash partnered with Arizona State University to create a blockchain research lab. According to it’s press release:

Initial research will focus on blockchain scalability, best practice, network architecture, environmentally -friendly mining, latency and throughput. Work will commence this month, and as the partnership progresses, may also include on-campus student lessons taught by Dash Core executives.

This positive news sent Dash price price to new all time highs and demonstrated that there is a strong demand for blockchain research within academic settings.

Dash Graph 2017

Dash began the year at $11.62 and is currently sitting at $1389 – a gain of more than 11,900%.

History of Dash

Evan Duffield - Founder of Dash

Evan Duffield founded DASH in 2014.

Dash started out as XCoin back in 2014. One month later, it was rebranded to DarkCoin. One year and a month after that (March 2015), DarkCoin was rebranded to Dash.

During the XCoin days, the release came off to a rocky start: The initial fork led to a bug that allowed 10% of the entire supply of Dash to be mined by whoever was mining at the time.

Evan Duffield, the founder of Dash, tried to rectify this by starting over or airdropping to broaden the distribution; the community rejected his ideas and decided to go forward with development.

This led Dash to be sold at a very low price on exchanges, which eventually distributed the Dash network more evenly.

How does it work? Watch this video (1:40):


Dash Masternodes

Masternodes are computers that run a dash wallet and make decisions, such as locking transactions with InstantSend, coordinate mixing of coins, and voting on budget funding.

While Bitcoin needs miners to take care of creating new blocks and validating transactions, Dash needs miners just to create new blocks; Masternodes own an entire copy of the blockchain and perform services for the network such as voting, PrivateSend, and InstantSend.

Because responsibilities are split between Masternodes and miners, Masternodes receive 45% of each block reward. Miners receive 45% and Dash’s DAO budget system receives 10%.

To become a Masternode, you must own 1000 Dash. This prevents Sybil attacks, a p2p attack that can happen when the hacker is assuming a large number of pseudonymous identities against a reputation system.

There are currently about 4600 Masternodes in the network, whose average monthly income is about $8000. The more money put into Dash, the more a Masternode will be paid, giving Masternodes funds to update hardware that can keep up with all of their functions.

PrivateSend and InstantSend

With PrivateSend, Dash users can send anonymous transactions. When a user wants to PrivateSend, they will send an amount to a Masternode, whose job it will be to mask the transaction. This Masternode will never know who the sender or receiver is, and the transaction goes through without anything else needed from the sender. To read more about the technical details, check out Dash’s PrivateSend page.

No one is using Bitcoin (high fees and long transaction times) to buy an espresso anymore. As the title suggests, InstantSend allows near-instant transactions to occur. These are sent to Masternodes, which verify the data. InstantSend is especially convenient in retail settings, such as coffee shops.

Where Dash Is Headed

DashWith the current price spike, the Dash organization has an estimated $8 million monthly budget. Duffield has even spoken about possibly of scaling the block size to 1GB, which would allow Dash to scale and compete with companies like Visa and Mastercard.

As Dash becomes more popular, more money will funnel into the Masternodes, who will be able to afford to run networks with a block size of 1GB. Back in June, before anyone knew how big of a problem Bitcoin’s scaling solution would be, Evan wrote:

“Even Satoshi Nakamoto, founder of Bitcoin, seems to have simply assumed that advances in hardware and networking would solve the scalability problem for him. Dash is the first digital currency to come up with an answer to scalability that’s not based on technology that doesn’t yet, and might never, exist. Dash will be able to rival the likes of PayPal and VISA simply by using its existing infrastructure.”

Coming off a stellar year of growth and business development, Dash seems posed for an even stronger 2018. The message of Dash is very simple: Fast Digital Cash.

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Ripple Becomes Largest Altcoin As Bitcoiners Issue War… | News

Ripple (XRP) has overtaken Ethereum as the largest altcoin by market cap in a surge which has divided the cryptocurrency community.

After the payment network’s token reached as much as $2.65 on some exchanges this week, investors are celebrating returns which have topped 1,000 percent in just three weeks. At the start of December, XRP traded at just $0.24.

Multiple altcoins have seen astronomical gains towards the end of this year as Bitcoin’s own surge fueled copycat behavior which saw new all-time highs for assets including Monero, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

With a market cap of $91 bln at press time Saturday, however, it is XRP that has stolen the show from Ethereum, which currently has a market cap of $68 bln. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s overall market share has sunk to new all-time lows below 38 percent.

Reasons for Ripple’s rise revolve around new partnerships with traditional finance, institutions keen to leverage its technology to cut costs and save time.

Despite its newfound successes, however, Bitcoin figures appear wearier than ever, highlighting the project’s centralized structure and comparative lack of use cases for XRP versus the platform itself.

“There is a clear mispricing here between the (past) and the (future),” BitFury CEO George Kikvadze commented on Twitter Friday.

Popular personality WhalePanda meanwhile went further, comparing Ripple’s ethos in terms of bonafide Blockchain qualities to notorious MMM scheme OneCoin.

Placeholder VC’s Chris Burniske and Blockchain technologist Preston Byrne also voiced concerns about the rate of XRP’s growth.

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