Trump Issues Executive Order Against Venezuela’s Petro Cryptocurrency

Mar 20, 2018 at 22:52

United States president Donald Trump has formally signed the executive order imposing new sanctions against Venezuela for launching the controversial Petro cryptocurrency.

“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,” the document stated.

Before signing the executive order on Monday, Trump already warned Venezuela for allegedly attempting to bypass existing economic restrictions and circumvent international sanctions with the release of its own cryptocurrency program last February.

Aside from the US president, several senators including Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson also criticized Venezuela’s launching of the Petro.

Likewise, the controversial token also garnered negative reactions from the Venezuelan Congress citing that the move is illegal and unconstitutional.

Last month, Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro claimed that the initial coin offering presale for the state-backed Petro cryptocurrency already received as much as 171,000 intents to contribute from individuals and private companies.

He noted then that 40.8 percent of contributors intend to complete the transaction with US Dollar, while another 6.5 percent will make their purchase with Euro. Meanwhile, 33.8 percent pledged through Bitcoin and another 18.4 percent used Ethereum.

Despite the claims, Venezuela has yet to publicly name any of the contributors and the government has yet to distribute any of the 100 million Petro tokens available in the presale.