The Venezuelan Petro: Locked And Chained Cryptocurrency In The US
On October 2, 2018, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appeared on national television and announced the official launch of the Venezuelan Petro cryptocurrency. First announced in December 2017 and supposedly backed by the country’s oil and mineral reserves, Petro is intended to Supplement Venezuela’s national currency, bolívar, which depreciated at an exorbitant rate last year. The international monetary Fund predicts that inflation in the country will reach 1 million percent.
While the official website and wallet for Petro appears to be up and running and is currently trading on various cryptocurrency exchanges, individuals in the United States (including even foreigners temporarily visiting the United States) should be extremely careful about trading or investing in Petro.
On March 19, 2018, Trump administration issued a decree entitled ” taking additional measures to resolve the situation in Venezuela”, which prohibits all transactions related to the provision of financing or other transactions with Venezuelan digital currencies in the United States.
It is important to note that this restriction applies not only to citizens of the United States, but also to all persons physically present and engaged in such activities in the United States. For example, a foreign national who sells oil while on vacation in the United States may be subject to sanctions by the office of foreign assets control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury for violating the prohibitions set forth in this Regulation.