US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order prohibiting US citizens and companies from buying or using Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro.
A day after media reports of more sanctions coming for the beleaguered administration of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that makes it illegal for US citizen to buy or use the Petro cryptocurrency.
Trump’s Monday order extends to all US entities or companies and prohibits them from engaging in financial deals involving Venezuelan-issued digital currency on or after January 9, 2018, in connection with the president’s executive order from August 2017.
The US leader said he deemed it necessary to follow up on the previous order “in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful.”
Trump has also banned all transactions that are in violation of any part of the executive order.
The document added:
“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 (International Emergency Economic Powers Act) as may be necessary to implement this order.
US frowns on Petro
On Sunday, Cryptovest reported that Washington is expected to issue fresh sanctions against the Maduro regime as early as Monday in reaction to the launch of the Petro and the soon-to-be-released Petro gold.
This month, Maduro claimed that his government had raised $5 billion from the initial coin offering (ICO) of the Petro, the first oil-backed cryptocurrency. Although the amount is still unverified, it could be the most successful ICO in history if proven true.
Maduro is pinning high hopes on the Petro to reignite his country’s troubled economy, which is struggling with crippling sanctions from the US government, including a ban on US companies buying Venezuelan debt.
By backing the Petro with five billion barrels of oil, Maduro said it “would allow Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”
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