The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

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The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by nisiprius » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:11 pm

And if you don't understand what an "oil-backed cryptocurrency" is, neither do I, and neither do the news organizations reporting on it.

Reuters
The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that “the 21st century has arrived!”

“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency,” backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said....

....The petro, he said, would help Venezuela “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”....

The announcement bewildered some followers of cryptocurrencies, which typically are not backed by any government or central banks.
The New York Times
Mr. Maduro said Sunday that the new currency would be called the “petro” and be backed by the OPEC nation’s abundant oil, gold and mineral reserves.

“This will allow us to advance toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of our country,” he said.

Mr. Maduro gave no details in his TV address about what the new currency’s value would be, how it would work or when it would be released.
Perhaps the next James Bond film will have Ernst Stavro Blofeld updating his comment in Thunderball about Swiss francs and Venezuelan bolivars, and saying
...approximately one and a half million pounds sterling in the bitcoin and petros in which for reasons of prudence--they continue to be the safest cryptocurrencies in the world--we convert all our takings.
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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by brad.clarkston » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:18 pm

Yea I see tons and tons of non-Venezuelan's flocking to the Petro ... said no one ever.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Ever Ready » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:20 pm

Are you sure it's not backed by wristwatches? :oops:

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by jhfenton » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:36 pm

It would be an interesting idea if a financially-stable country created an asset-backed block-chain currency. Asset-backed meaning the it was officially exchangeable for the actual commodity or possibly for the value of the commodity in the country's traditional currency.

More likely, we'll see blockchain versions of traditional currencies, like the recently announced crypto-ruble that can be exchanged for the traditional currency. (The implementation of the crypto-ruble seems quite sketchy, though.) I can imagine a country like the Cayman Islands creating a crypto version of its currency and pushing it as a means of internationally untraceable financial transactions with the backing of a traditional currency.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:11 pm
And if you don't understand what an "oil-backed cryptocurrency" is, neither do I, and neither do the news organizations reporting on it.

Reuters
The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that “the 21st century has arrived!”

“Venezuela will create a cryptocurrency,” backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves, Maduro said....

....The petro, he said, would help Venezuela “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”....

The announcement bewildered some followers of cryptocurrencies, which typically are not backed by any government or central banks.
The New York Times
Mr. Maduro said Sunday that the new currency would be called the “petro” and be backed by the OPEC nation’s abundant oil, gold and mineral reserves.

“This will allow us to advance toward new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of our country,” he said.

Mr. Maduro gave no details in his TV address about what the new currency’s value would be, how it would work or when it would be released.
Perhaps the next James Bond film will have Ernst Stavro Blofeld updating his comment in Thunderball about Swiss francs and Venezuelan bolivars, and saying
...approximately one and a half million pounds sterling in the bitcoin and petros in which for reasons of prudence--they continue to be the safest cryptocurrencies in the world--we convert all our takings.
here is how it would have to work (in a rough hand wavy way).

You would be able to take 1 petro, say, to authorized depots, and exchange it for 1 barrel of oil.

An oil spot contract works that way, more or less. I buy 1 barrel of oil on ICE, say, due in 7 days time. Possession of this contract means I will have delivery of 1 barrel of oil to Rotterdam harbor in 7 days and pay for it then.

It's the equivalent of a gold standard, except with oil.

Main problem is the price of oil is so volatile.

There was a French bond which paid off in Gold. It's memorably described in Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (Sherman McCoy, the speculator, seeks to corner the market in same) and Michael Lewis (in Liar's Poker) mentions the real case (in the real world, the Salomon trader makes out like a bandit, in contrast to the novel).

I don't imagine Maduro has much idea of what he means-- someone at the Venezuelan Treasury has no doubt suggested it as a way of getting out of their awful mess as a nation, and he's run with it. Or perhaps he saw something about it on TV?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:38 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:36 pm
It would be an interesting idea if a financially-stable country created an asset-backed block-chain currency. Asset-backed meaning the it was officially exchangeable for the actual commodity or possibly for the value of the commodity in the country's traditional currency.

More likely, we'll see blockchain versions of traditional currencies, like the recently announced crypto-ruble that can be exchanged for the traditional currency. (The implementation of the crypto-ruble seems quite sketchy, though.) I can imagine a country like the Cayman Islands creating a crypto version of its currency and pushing it as a means of internationally untraceable financial transactions with the backing of a traditional currency.
And Grand Cayman would then be blockaded, if not an actual military blockade then a nasty bit of sanctions.

https://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/cayman-islands

A British territory-- so pressure could be exerted on the government in London. Post Brexit, no trade deal if you let CI do this?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:39 pm

brad.clarkston wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:18 pm
Yea I see tons and tons of non-Venezuelan's flocking to the Petro ... said no one ever.
And Venezuelans flock to Miami condo buildings.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by jhfenton » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:40 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm
It's the equivalent of a gold standard, except with oil.
That's the way I would see it working with a creditable sponsor.
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm
I don't imagine Maduro has much idea of what he means-- someone at the Venezuelan Treasury has no doubt suggested it as a way of getting out of their awful mess as a nation, and he's run with it. Or perhaps he saw something about it on TV?
I agree on this front as well. Maduro is desperate at this point and is trying anything to keep the financial ship afloat.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by nisiprius » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:48 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm
...here is how it would have to work (in a rough hand wavy way).

You would be able to take 1 petro, say, to authorized depots, and exchange it for 1 barrel of oil....

It's the equivalent of a gold standard, except with oil....
That's just an oil-backed currency. Where does the "crypto" come in? Why would they even need their own cryptocurrency?

To put it another way, how is this different from saying "we will exchange oil for bitcoin at a government-guaranteed fixed rate of 200 barrel per BTC?"

And how does it solve the problem of oil no longer being worth enough to let Venezuela do everything Chavez wanted, using nothing but oil revenue? Why would people be willing to pay three times what oil is worth in normal currency just because they are buying it in a cryptocurrency?

Then too, think of all the problems the dollar had with bimetallism, and this is... oil, gas, gold, diamonds... tetra-petro-metal-mineralism? Maybe you could make something out of "tetrapetro," somehow, it has a nice ring to it...
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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:52 pm

Ever Ready wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:20 pm
Are you sure it's not backed by wristwatches? :oops:
I am afraid lot more did NOT get your joke than the ones who did :-) But please don't explain it. Let "the man" make the comment himself.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Oicuryy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:27 pm

This can't be a new idea. Someone must have already figured out how to replace just the coin creation part of bitcoin software with software that allows only a central bank to create and uncreate coins. All the rest of the transaction processing software in bitcoin would remain the same.

Venezuela would then offer to pay for its imports in petros and sell oil at a fixed price in petros. Would this get around the U.S. sanctions that make it difficult for Venezuela to get dollars?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by jhfenton » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:59 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:52 pm
Ever Ready wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:20 pm
Are you sure it's not backed by wristwatches? :oops:
I am afraid lot more did NOT get your joke than the ones who did :-) But please don't explain it. Let "the man" make the comment himself.
I appreciated the joke. :beer

I follow a lot of the opposition and sympathetic reporters on Twitter. Politics aside, there's quite a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela now.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:04 am

So instead of a cryptocurrency backed by...nothing...we have a cryptocurrency backed by...the value of assets of one of the most dysfunctional economies in the world.

Sounds like a prescription for a value monotonically declining to zero. Or maybe even going negative.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Derby » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:53 am

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:11 pm
And if you don't understand what an "oil-backed cryptocurrency" is, neither do I, and neither do the news organizations reporting on it.
And neither does Maduro. It's like one of his advisors said to him yesterday "PLASTICS."
Carpe Diem.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by alpine_boglehead » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:03 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:04 am
So instead of a cryptocurrency backed by...nothing...we have a cryptocurrency backed by...the value of assets of one of the most dysfunctional economies in the world.

Sounds like a prescription for a value monotonically declining to zero. Or maybe even going negative.
The dysfunctinality of the economy and the state is why Maduro (or rather some desperate advisor) wants to back it with "hard assets". Interesting idea, but the contract of the backing itself is not a hard asset. If they can't make good on their debt, why should anyone believe the will make good on the contract for the crypto-petro thingy.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Ragnoth » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:18 am

The idea of backing a cryptocurrency isn't new. For example, I think there was one called "tether" that was intended to be pegged to the dollar.

Stability of Venezuela and volitility in oil aside, the petro isn't a crazy proposal (from the perspective of the Venezuelan government at least). One of the few advantages of a cryptocurrency is avoiding the formal international banking system.

If Venezuela finds a way to money around without too many prying eyes and frozen accounts, I think they will consider the whole project a win. It also might be an interesting monetary policy tool (and sounds trendier than simply issuing a new paper currency or directly forcing creditors to take a haircut).

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by ccieemeritus » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:38 am

The United States used to issue silver certificates (as opposed to “federal reserve notes”): dollar bills that you could cash in for silver. I have one (issued in the 1930’s). The US reneged on that agreement long ago.

At least if Venezuela issues money as a crypto currency, that will save their paper for more important things: like making toilet paper. Their economy is so dysfunctional they can’t even do that right now.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I won’t be buying Petro’s. But I would like to get one of those 100 trillion dollar bills from Zimbabwe (btw: Mugabe is now out of power).

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by asset_chaos » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:05 am

Maduro goes on TV for hours a day. He's gotta say something to fill the time. That's the dirty secret of all news media: there are just so many column-inches and so many hours of airtime every day that have to be filled whether or not there's anything actually interesting to say.
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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by German Expat » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:42 am

I would be way too worried about a 51% attack if some nation state (especially a state like Venezuela) controls the majority of the mining power. I can't imagine anybody else mining for them on a larger scale.

https://learncryptography.com/cryptocurrency/51-attack

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by nisiprius » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:17 am

ccieemeritus wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:38 am
The United States used to issue silver certificates (as opposed to “federal reserve notes”): dollar bills that you could cash in for silver. I have one (issued in the 1930’s). The US reneged on that agreement long ago....
Not quite that long. OK, yeah, that long, but anyway, when I was a kid. Your ordinary wallet might well contain three different kinds of $5 bill: silver certificates with a blue Treasury seal; Federal Reserve notes with a green seal; and United States notes with a red seal.

So they told us in school that a silver certificate could be exchanged for "silver," which sounded really neat, until we found out that all that it mean was that if you took a $1 bill to a bank they would give you four quarters in change. Big deal. So much for the dream of saving up your birthday money and getting a little bullion bar at the bank. Quarters, at that time, were, of course made of silver (alloyed).

Silver certificates were issued up to 1964, and silver coins were replaced by the "copper sandwich" coins at about that time.

Silver coins were not, however, shiny like a proof set, except when they were very new. Just as people would go to the bank to get crisp new bills as gifts, they would get shiny new coins. I don't think they stayed shinier much longer than modern-day coins. I don't even like to think about how kids got mercury to play with, but it wasn't a rare event and one of the cool things you could so with it was rub it into a silver coin. It would form a thin layer of amalgam and, very briefly, become beautifully shiny, until the mercury itself tarnished. You couldn't ever get the mercury off afterwards. I don't know what happened to mercury-enhanced coins as they moved through circulation, I don't remember any problem spending them.

I'd like to know more about the engineering involved in development of the copper sandwich coins. Early vending machines... perhaps developed during the 1940s? but still in use when I was a kid... basically just detected the presence of a coin. I never actually used a slug, but foreign coins would work if they were the right size. But in the late 1950s and 1960s, and I think the technology is still in use today, if you dropped a coin into a vending machine, you'd actually hear a jingling sound that took over a second. What was happening was that the coin was passing through a fairly elaborate series of physical tests. It had to be the right size and weight, and when it bounced off a hard surface it had to bounce to the right height, and finally it rolled between magnets and the eddy currents in the highly conductive silver slowed it down; if it was made of anything less conductive, it would be going too fast and get diverted into the coin return bin. As for magnetic nickel Canadian coins, they didn't stand a chance. In short, the machine was crudely checking size, weight, elasticity, magnetism, and conductivity. It was quite a challenge for the mint to develop a coin that didn't use expensive silver but would still pass a coin rejector. Actually in the first few years the percentage of good coins that vending machines would not accept was pretty high, and I suspect they re-tuned them just a bit later.

P.S. Despite the currency being backed by precious metal, inflation during the early 1950s was hellacious, and one of my earlier memories of watching television was of a news program with an announcer pointing to a graphic of a "shrinking dollar," with different-sized pictures of a dollar bill.
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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:21 am

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:17 am


P.S. Despite the currency being backed by precious metal, inflation during the early 1950s was hellacious, and one of my earlier memories of watching television was of a news program with an announcer pointing to a graphic of a "shrinking dollar," with different-sized pictures of a dollar bill.
Dan

There was a surge of inflation when WW2 price controls came off. Then a very steep recession with cut in armaments orders and returning servicemen. I think 1948 saw one of the sharpest recessions ever? (but brief).

But this was all over by 1949?

Was there another spike in inflation due to the Korean War?

I must admit I don't remember (in the sense of historical knowledge from reading) inflation in the early 50s in North America? (Britain was still under some rationing and had price controls but had relatively high inflation for the whole postwar period to 1981).

Where would I look this inflation up?

[/quote]

Answering own question

https://www.minneapolisfed.org/communit ... rates-1913

inflation

1945 2.3%
1946 8.5%
1947 14.4%
1948 7.7%
1949 -1.0%
1950 1.1%
1951 7.9%
1952 2.3%
1953 0.8%
1954 0.3%
1955 -0.3%
1956 1.5%
1957 3.3%
1958 2 .7%
1959 1.08%
1960 1.5%

Looking at that we see the post WW2 inflation catchup in 1946-48 which must have come as quite a shock to those conditioned by the 1930s, then inflation jump at start of Korean War with remobilization and conscription restored.

For the 1950s inflation was not a big issue. Although it probably was a psychological shock to those who had learned that prices were stable for long periods.

I remember President Truman actually sent the troops into the steel companies over a price rise (picture of Chairman of US Steel being carried out of his office, on a chair, by US Army troops?). And JFK made a quite famous speech against the steel industry for raising prices (I think the Republican Congress then abolished price controls on steel). See below-- Supreme Court rejected Truman's actions.

I found it hard to find neutral sources on the history of US price controls-- the thrust of most web based sources is to convince the reader that they were a bad idea (that may be true, but the bias is clear -- the wikipedia entry is particularly bad that way, citing the California power crisis as evidence against but totally omitting the role of Enron), but I did find this


http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-scie ... -and-price

Inflation and labor disputes were repressed sufficiently so that when the war ended and decontrol commenced, there was a wave of strikes and a burst of measured inflation.

Although federal controls ended, local rent controls lingered in some local jurisdictions, notably New York City. The wage authorities during World War II had tended to allow exceptions to the standard for fringe benefits such as pensions. As a result, pensions and health insurance gained a foothold at the employer level, which expanded after the war into a company-based system of social insurance.

The World War II experience led to public expectations that wars meant consumer goods shortages. Hence, when the Korean War began in 1950, a surge in consumer buying and hoarding led to a jump in inflation and, eventually, a reinstatement of wage-price and resource allocation controls by the Truman administration. In broad terms, the controls followed the World War II model, with a price authority and a wage authority. The program was again generally based on control of pay, with price controls largely to be achieved by allowable markups over costs. However, the overall program was less extensive than before, partly because peak military expenditures during the Korean War were about 15 percent of GDP, a substantially lower ratio than in the earlier conflict.


Presidential authority during the Korean War was also more limited than in World War II. An attempt by President Truman to seize the steel industry during a labor dispute was rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court. When President Eisenhower took office in early 1953, the Truman-era wage-price controls were quickly dismantled. Decontrol did not lead to a sharp surge in inflation, in part because the anticipatory price surge had occurred before controls were imposed. Under Eisenhower, activity in the wage-price area was largely limited to exhortations aimed at moderate wage settlements and price behavior.
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answer ... truman.asp
Last edited by Valuethinker on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:19 am

what is actionable about this topic? how is this not a political topic?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by EHEngineer » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:34 am

Derby wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:53 am
nisiprius wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:11 pm
And if you don't understand what an "oil-backed cryptocurrency" is, neither do I, and neither do the news organizations reporting on it.
And neither does Maduro. It's like one of his advisors said to him yesterday "PLASTICS."
I laughed out loud. I think this is what happened.
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by cjking » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:53 am

I was reading up on cryptocurrencies yesterday. My conclusion was I still wouldn't touch bitcoin, but asset-backed cryptocurrencies might one day be worthwhile. There are a few out there. One in particular had chosen the US dollar, Gold and bitcoin as their first three assets, which all make sense. (The reason for bitcoin as an asset is that bitcoin processing is inefficient, so embedding it in a second more modern cryptocurrency would make increase the supportable transaction rate.)

The company was in China, and there was very little info about I online, so not endorsing.

Asset-backed cryptocurrencies do indeed create and destroy coins to match the reserves of the coin issuers.

I wonder if Vanguard will one day issue a family of coins, where each coin value is linked to a particular fund.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:21 am

cjking wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:53 am
I was reading up on cryptocurrencies yesterday. My conclusion was I still wouldn't touch bitcoin, but asset-backed cryptocurrencies might one day be worthwhile. There are a few out there. One in particular had chosen the US dollar, Gold and bitcoin as their first three assets, which all make sense. (The reason for bitcoin as an asset is that bitcoin processing is inefficient, so embedding it in a second more modern cryptocurrency would make increase the supportable transaction rate.)

The company was in China, and there was very little info about I online, so not endorsing.

Asset-backed cryptocurrencies do indeed create and destroy coins to match the reserves of the coin issuers.

I wonder if Vanguard will one day issue a family of coins, where each coin value is linked to a particular fund.
Does an ICO not do this, in effect?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:34 am

This reminds me of what a startup I joined many years ago is doing. They are jumping this new blockchain craze. The are called, get this... Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). I kid you not!

I was one of the founders of this company. I will not say much about this company other than the company name should have been Shenanigans. There were more name changes, holding companies, restructuring, you name it. The CEO (majority stockholder) was remarkably adept at separating fools (private investors) from their money.

I am a significant stock holder, but since I haven't worked there in many years, I don't really know the inside scoop. My best guess, is they are not getting the sales they need and maybe running out of money. They have probably exhausted other means of raising cash and figure because of the token craze, they will get more stupid people to give them more money to squander. My guess with the run up in BitCoin, people are not doing their due diligence.

Kind of sounds remarkably similar to the 'petro' doesn't it :greedy

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by telemark » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:42 am

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:17 am
So they told us in school that a silver certificate could be exchanged for "silver," which sounded really neat, until we found out that all that it mean was that if you took a $1 bill to a bank they would give you four quarters in change. Big deal. So much for the dream of saving up your birthday money and getting a little bullion bar at the bank. Quarters, at that time, were, of course made of silver (alloyed).

Silver certificates were issued up to 1964, and silver coins were replaced by the "copper sandwich" coins at about that time.
I vaguely recall a science fiction story in which the characters needed silver to make some gizmo work, so were rounding up all the silver coins they could find. Obviously written some time ago.

And on the subject of story lines we will never see:

Character 1: "The interdimensional five-way interrociter is almost complete, but we are missing the materials for one crucial component."

Character 2: "Hold on... anybody got a bitcoin on them?"

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:46 pm

telemark wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:42 am
nisiprius wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:17 am
So they told us in school that a silver certificate could be exchanged for "silver," which sounded really neat, until we found out that all that it mean was that if you took a $1 bill to a bank they would give you four quarters in change. Big deal. So much for the dream of saving up your birthday money and getting a little bullion bar at the bank. Quarters, at that time, were, of course made of silver (alloyed).

Silver certificates were issued up to 1964, and silver coins were replaced by the "copper sandwich" coins at about that time.
I vaguely recall a science fiction story in which the characters needed silver to make some gizmo work, so were rounding up all the silver coins they could find. Obviously written some time ago.
? there was a John W Campbell novella, in which silver was the key to making space battleships ... (silver dissipated the heat rays very well so was the ideal metal for the armour ("The Mightiest Machine" google suggests was the title).

There's probably a few time travel twist stories, Twilight Zone? Where the bank robbers deliberately go into cold sleep, and wake up hundreds of years later to discover their gold (and silver) is worthless and they are paupers?

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:50 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:34 am
This reminds me of what a startup I joined many years ago is doing. They are jumping this new blockchain craze. The are called, get this... Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). I kid you not!

I was one of the founders of this company. I will not say much about this company other than the company name should have been Shenanigans. There were more name changes, holding companies, restructuring, you name it. The CEO (majority stockholder) was remarkably adept at separating fools (private investors) from their money.

I am a significant stock holder, but since I haven't worked there in many years, I don't really know the inside scoop. My best guess, is they are not getting the sales they need and maybe running out of money. They have probably exhausted other means of raising cash and figure because of the token craze, they will get more stupid people to give them more money to squander. My guess with the run up in BitCoin, people are not doing their due diligence.

Kind of sounds remarkably similar to the 'petro' doesn't it :greedy
You remind me of my dot com employee days ...

Those kind of vertical asset price rises attract "the Usual Suspects". Biotech in the 1990s before/ alongside online tech. Renewable energy (for a burst) in the early 2000s.

Now I see it in "Fintech" and cryptocurrencies. Notwithstanding that there are some great ideas in there, you still get the usual hangers on.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by nisiprius » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:51 pm

Telemark wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:46 pm
...I vaguely recall a science fiction story in which the characters needed silver to make some gizmo work, so were rounding up all the silver coins they could find. Obviously written some time ago.
? there was a John W Campbell novella, in which silver was the key to making space battleships ... (silver dissipated the heat rays very well so was the ideal metal for the armour ("The Mightiest Machine" google suggests was the title)...
There certainly was a gizmo, the giant mass spectrometer called the Calutron, for which General Leslie Groves needed silver to make it work. It was to separate the isotopes to make another gizmo work. Groves' representative asked the Treasury to lend them 6,000 tons of silver. The story, possibly true, is that the Treasury told him to resubmit his request with the amount specified in Troy ounces.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:16 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:51 pm
Telemark wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:46 pm
...I vaguely recall a science fiction story in which the characters needed silver to make some gizmo work, so were rounding up all the silver coins they could find. Obviously written some time ago.
? there was a John W Campbell novella, in which silver was the key to making space battleships ... (silver dissipated the heat rays very well so was the ideal metal for the armour ("The Mightiest Machine" google suggests was the title)...
There certainly was a gizmo, the giant mass spectrometer called the Calutron, for which General Leslie Groves needed silver to make it work. It was to separate the isotopes to make another gizmo work. Groves' representative asked the Treasury to lend them 6,000 tons of silver. The story, possibly true, is that the Treasury told him to resubmit his request with the amount specified in Troy ounces.
The Calutron didn't need silver, but copper was in short supply and the silver was just sitting around in a vault. There is also a story that Groves had to convince the Treasury that his security was good, and that silver was one of the less valuable metals in the lab.

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by cfs » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:34 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:19 am
what is actionable about this topic? how is this not a political topic?
Let me post this before this conversation is locked! Why locked? In my opinion this is valid conversation about the new and improved Venezuelan Petros [on a personal note, I would NOT invest a penny on anything coming from what used to be the envy of other Latin American countries]. IF the conversation is not considered valid, forum members can always click on the ! [exclamation point] on the right side of the conversation and submit a report to the moderators. Wishing YOU and YOUR family a Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

Post by nisiprius » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:53 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:19 am
what is actionable about this topic? how is this not a political topic?
It's news. It's the first I've ever heard of a cryptocurrency sponsored by a national government and backed by real assets. The shakiest part with regard to forum policy is whether this is an actuality or "proposed legislation," but Maduro's announcement, as reported by U.S. media (e.g. NPR) treats it as "will" be done, not "might" be done. I have no interest in speculating in any cryptocurrency, but I do take Spanish lessons over Skype from a teacher who lives in Venezuela, and if the "petro" emerges as a practical reality, it's possible that I might have a personal use for it as a medium of exchange.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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