Russian Official Refutes Country’s Role In Venezuela’s Petro Crytpocurrency


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A Russian official claims that his country never partnered with Venezuela on the Petro, Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency, Russia’s news source Tass reported on Friday. The Petro marks the world’s first state cryptocurrency.

Artyom Kozhin, deputy director of the information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, on Friday claimed a news story published by Time magazine and other news sources claiming to have an exclusive on the Petro’s Russian origin are false.

Russian Claims Time Ignored Facts

The Russian Finance Ministry advised Time magazine that it firmly denied any involvement in the Petro, and that Time ignored the ministry’s statement. In a meeting on Feb. 21, 2018 in Moscow, Kozhin said Simon Zerpa, Venezuela’s Minster of Economy and Finance, gave a booklet about the cryptocurrency to the Russian finance minister only to inform the Russians about the project, but none of the parties mentioned reviewed or discussed Russian-Venezuelan activity about cryptocurrency.

The Petro, the rate of which is linked to the cost of oil produced in Venezuela, was announced in December by Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro as a payment tool to escape global sanctions and a U.S. blockade. The Petro pre-sale of 82.4 million Petros was announced on Feb. 20, 2018.

Time: Putin Authorized Involvement

Time magazine reported that Russian president Vladimir Putin authorized helping Venezuela launch the Petro, citing anonymous sources close to the “half hidden joint venture.”

The Time report mentioned two Russians with ties to Russian banks acting as advisers on the Petro, Denis Druzhkov and Fyodor Bogorodsky. The two Russians were reportedly seated in the front row in the presidential palace during the Petro’s launch.

Druzhkov, according to an Associated Press report, is CEO of Zeus Trading, which was fined $31,000 and barred from trading three years ago by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for fraudulent trading in futures’ contracts.

Bogorodsky, according to the report, lives in Uruguay and was described by the government as director of a company, Aerotrading, whose website consists of a single home page with no company information.

Also read: Russia ‘secretly’ helped Venezuela launch state crypto Petro: report

Time Sourced Russian Bank Official

Senior Kremlin advisers have overseen the Petro project, according to a Russian state bank executive who deals with cryptocurrencies, Time reported. In addition, Putin signed off on the project last year, the report said.

“People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions. This is how the whole thing started,” the state bank executive reportedly added.

The Kremlin did not respond to a request for comment from Time, but Moscow’s Finance Ministry said none of Russia’s financial authorities were involved in developing or launching the Petro.

The Venezuelan government did not respond to the magazine for comment either.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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How the 4th Pillar Platform is Helping Prevent Deforestation

· March 25, 2018 · 2:00 pm

The 4th Pillar is changing the way the Human Resources industry functions, thanks to its blockchain-based platform. However, it’s easy to overlook the project’s positive environmental impact.

Businesses are Needlessly Damaging Our Ecosystem

One of modern industry’s most destructive effects on Planet Earth is the large-scale deforestation which has been taking place for decades. 

Forests cover approximately 30 percent of the planet — and are home to the vast majority of species and life on land. Crucially, they account for 75 percent of the gross primary productivity in the Earth’s biosphere, while also containing 80% of the Earth’s plant biomass. Unfortunately, these thriving ecosystems of life are disappearing at an alarming rate.

According to the World Wildlife Federation, our planet is losing 18.7 million acres of forests every year — which equates to 27 soccer fields every minute. A large portion of this deforestation is caused by the business world’s reliance on paper products, with 853 million square meters of sawn logs used to make them. This trend isn’t currently on pace to stop, as developing countries are ever more reliant on paper.

Take, for example, pay slips. Companies send documents and pay slips to each employee on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. That means that one company of 950 employees uses more than 1,300 envelopes and 3,000 sheets of paper strictly for verifying transactions. That equates to 120 trees per year, and more than 8.84 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

With that in mind, imagine a company with 10,000 employees. Such company requires roughly 1,273 trees every year for simple document transfers and employee pay stubs.

Recycling admittedly helps cut down on the cutting of trees, but wouldn’t it be better to stop the practice altogether?

Helping to Stem the Tide of Deforestation

The 4th Pillar platform gives individuals the power to build a verified professional identity and a decentralized personal cryptocurrency savings fund. Additionally, it enables organizations to recruit based on automated and verified employment data as well as digitally transfer multiple cross-border payments and work-related documentation.

The 4th Pillar platform is based on blockchain transactions and digital communication. As such, a Dapp (decentralized application) will allow for the transfer and management of FOUR tokens, a working blockchain HR database, and peer to peer transfer of pay slips and work-related documents.

With this technology, The 4th Pillar will revolutionize the HR industry not only by implementing a cost-effective digital system but also by reducing the carbon footprint of businesses around the globe.

A Token Sale to Save the Planet

A Token Sale to Save the Planet

The 4th Pillar’s crowd pre-sale of its FOUR token is slated to begin this month and offers a 30 percent bonus for early-bird participants. Afterward, starting in April, there will be an additional crowdsale.

FOUR tokens can be purchased with Ethereum tokens (ETH), and the project has a soft cap of 2 million euros. Additionally, there is a hard cap of 12 million euros, and all unsold tokens will be distributed between public sale contributors according to their contribution.

To learn more about the ecological benefits of The 4th Pillar, read the project’s whitepaper and lightpaper, follow its industry-leading team and participate in the token sale, visit the project’s official website.

What do you think about big business’ environmental impact on the planet? Are you interested in The 4th Pillar’s potential ability to help stem the tide of deforestation? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of AdobeStock, Shutterstock

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

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ICO Token Allocations Don’t Always Favor Investors

The ICO industry continues to attract a lot of attention. However, one also has to question the business model a lot of these companies maintain as of right now. Especially with so many projects only selling a minor share of the total tokens, things are not looking overly positive.

Greed is a very real problem in the world of cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings. We have seen this type of behavior well before ICOs became the next big thing, and it will continue to cause problems for some time to come. In the world of initial coin offerings, however, there are quite a few worrisome trends worth keeping an eye on. Especially the correlation between the number of tokens in total and the small amount of tokens being sold is beyond proportions as of right now.

The ICO Token Allocation Issues

More and more ICO projects now only sell a small number of tokens through the crowdsale itself. That is not uncommon, yet these projects still aim to raise tens, if not hundreds of millions from the public. It is evident this business model simply will not work, yet these companies couldn’t care less about that. All they want is the easy money, by the look of things.

Unfortunately, it seems this trend will not slow down anytime soon. Although most ICOs issue far too many tokens in general, this new approach isn’t much better. In fact, it is possibly worse overall. There is no reason for any company to effectively expect people to contribute millions for under half of the token supply. After all, this seems as if these companies will cash out once the tokens are listed on exchanges.

Public allocation of ICO tokens is a serious matter. Right now, dozens of projects are taking the wrong approach in this regard. If the public owns 50% of the tokens or less, things are simply not working out. It is evident the people buying into these offerings deserve to own the majority of tokens. Without their money, these projects wouldn’t even be possible. A lot of work lies ahead for these ICOs, to say the least.

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