Trump issues executive order to ban Venezuela’s state-issued cryptocurrency
All US agencies will take appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
United States president Donald Trump has signed an executive order which prohibits Americans from buying, selling, trading and transacting in any way with Venezuela’s newly released cryptocurrency, the petro.
“All transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018, are prohibited,” according to the order’s mandate.
The executive order was published on the White House website. Additionally, all agencies of the United States government shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
The Bolivarian government of Venezuela officially launched its oil reserves-backed petro token in February.
Any natural or legal person, any citizen or company and any national or foreign person can acquire the state-issued token through a pre-sale initiative, according to a press release on the government’s website.
The pre-sale has been running for one month and is expected to close tonight at 10:59 p.m. March 19, 2018.
Shortly after the launch, President Nicolás Maduro declared that his government would institute a second cryptocurrency, petro gold, backed by the South American nation’s mineral reserves, expected to arrive soon.
In a recent tweet, Maduro claimed that the pre-sale of the petro token raised US$735 million on its first day.
Earlier this month, in a parliamentary announcement, the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) warned potential investors that the petro is an “unconstitutional” violation of the Magna Carta and national laws. The AN also rejected the government’s claim to force workers to acquire the petro (PTR) through savings banks.
Over the last few years, Venezuela has suffered high levels of unemployment and currency inflation. Late last year, The New York Times reported that during the summer of 2017, President Nicolás Maduro created a new lawmaking body composed entirely of his supporters. This controversial new legislature, the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), was granted authority to re-write and pass legislation, making the AN redundant.
United States senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez also rebuked the creation and disbursement of the new digital currency in an open letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in late January.
“It is imperative that the Treasury Department is equipped with tools and enforcement mechanisms to combat the use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions in general, and in this case in particular,” the letter said.
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