Trump Bans Venezuelan Petro Cryptocurrency

Yolanda Curtis
March 20, 2018

An executive order bans "all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in" any digital currency issued by or for the Venezuelan government.

President Donald Trump, in the recent move by the towards restricting the Maduro regime's access to the capital, has issued order prohibiting any involvement or transactions in the us that are related with any: digital coin or token launched by the Gov of Venezuela.

According to senior White House officials, the new sanctions are against four Venezuelan government officials involved in corruption and economic mismanagement.

However, members of the U.S. Congress are pushing for a robust response, fearing that other nations under U.S. sanctions such as Iran and Russian Federation could emulate Venezuela's example, or that the petro could be used by criminal networks or corrupt officials to launder money.

The US Treasury warned domestic investors back in February not to touch petro in case it violated sanctions, saying "the petro digital currency would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government" and "could therefore expose US persons to legal risk".

Trump's order describes the petro's initial coin offering as "recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent USA sanctions", and declares all related transactions unlawful. "Issuing a cryptocurrency is not going to help Venezuela escape sanctions". The money has become so unstable, one city in the west of Venezuela-Elorza-even launched its own currency to be used locally.

27 year old Gabriel Jimenez is the founder of The Social Us, a digital innovation startup that is helping Venezuela "overcome the financial blockade" of Donald Trump's government.

"This is about providing oxygen to people, not the government", Jimenez said. Yet in presales alone, Venezuela has already made over US$5 billion dollars.

Maduro announced the new cryptocurrency - called "petro" - late a year ago. But in response to the request for comment, an email signed by "Zeus Team" said that Druzkhov had been invited to Venezuela as an expert and Zeus is not working on the project.

The executive order to ban the petro isn't that surprising, considering the US's current sanctions on Venezuela. He also argues that the petro — a financial product that doesn't generate interest or have a payback schedule like a bond — doesn't qualify as the sort of debt instrument the Trump administration had been targeting.

Other reports by iNewsToday