It won’t come as much of a surprise to most that US President Donald Trump has taken the first step by a US President into the world of crypto, and issued an executive order banning US citizens from buying, transacting or trading in Petro or any other future Venezuelan cryptocurrencies. Bearing in mind that the currency was, it would appear, specifically created in order to circumvent financial sanctions imposed by the US themselves, it is perhaps only surprising that the order has taken so many weeks to be issued. Excerpts read:
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 Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including promulgating rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to implement this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and executive departments and agencies of the United States Government.
It isn’t currently clear how this order will be enforced, as purchases of Petro have been open in both BTC and ETH, which are of course designed to give users a higher level of anonymity. However, the news will certainly be music to the SEC’s ears, as they continue to crack down on the issuing of ICOs and, therefore, the emergence of new currencies.
Meanwhile, doubts remain over the Petro itself. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appears to stand alone in his decision to launch the controversial crypto, with the majority of his government denouncing it as illegal, and US analysts asserting that the value simply doesn’t exist, as oil cannot be owned in the same way as a commodity such as gold can. Indeed, the Venezuelan government aren’t even 100% owners of the oil that they are claiming is backing the Petro.
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