Signing an executive order, US President Donald Trump has imposed a ban on the US companies and citizens from dealing in Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, Petro.
The cryptocurrency created to help the country’s collapsed economy was launched in February. According to the US President, Petro is an ‘attempt to circumvent US sanctions’. Trump has urged the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to sanction all the regulations to implement the order. Trump has undertaken the move to pressurise the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro.
In a statement, Mnuchin stated: “President Maduro decimated the Venezuelan economy and spurred a humanitarian crisis. Instead of correcting course to avoid further catastrophe, the Maduro regime is attempting to circumvent sanctions through the Petro digital currency – a ploy that Venezuela’s democratically-elected National Assembly has denounced and Treasury has cautioned US persons to avoid.”
The Venezuelan government that is stranded in economic jeopardy again, called the ban a ‘new imperial aggression’.
“While Venezuela’s attempt to issue a cryptocurrency is novel, there’s nothing new about the US restricting financial dealings with sanctioned countries,” stated think tank Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito, “Issuing a cryptocurrency is not going to help Venezuela escape sanctions.”