U.S. President Donald Trump Orders Sanctions Against the Petro Token - CryptoCentral

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U.S. President Donald Trump Orders Sanctions Against the Petro Token

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U.S. President Donald Trump Orders Sanctions Against the Petro Token

CryptoCentral March 23, 2018
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The U.S. president on Monday signed an order banning any transactions within the United States involving any digital currency issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela.


In brief:

Donald Trump has signed an executive order to enforce new sanctions against Venezuela’s controversial cryptocurrency, the “Petro”.

Recently, in order to curb the Maduro regime’s access to capital, Donald Trump has issued an executive order imposing new sanctions against Venezuela for its controversial cryptocurrency, the “Petro”.

The U.S. president on Monday signed an order banning any transactions within the United States involving any digital currency issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela.

On Friday, McClatchy DC reported that the Trump administration is planning to issue additional sanctions on the South American countries trying to evade existing economic restrictions.

The White House announced that the latest sanction is in response to the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s move to “circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency.” In February, Venezuela became the first country to issue its own state backed digital currency, the “Petro”. The motive behind launching the oil-backed cryptocurrency was to help pull the country out of an ongoing economic crisis.

The executive order reads:

“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 as of the effective date of this order.”

Considering the potential use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities, they have come under scrutiny by the U.S. Treasury Department. Jerry Brito, Coin Center executive director, stated,

“While Venezuela’s attempt to issue a cryptocurrency is novel, there’s nothing new about the U.S. restricting financial dealings with sanctioned countries. Issuing a cryptocurrency is not going to help Venezuela escape sanctions.”

The Treasury Department made it clear that the risk associated with sanctions are likely to apply to Americans purchasing the said token. Concerned over guarding U.S. investors as well as to prevent Venezuela from raising money, various U.S. lawmakers, including Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio, and Bill Nelson have criticized the “Petro” by writing letters to the Treasury Department.

“Petro” seems to draw controversy from all sides as even within Venezuela’s borders, the token has received flak, by the nation’s Congress calling it “illegal” and unconstitutional. It is to be noted that Maduro’s claims about raising as much as USD $5 billion through the token’s pre-sale have no supporting proof.


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