US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that bans any transaction within the US that involves the Petro, the digital currency released by the Venezuelan government, the Petro, which is pegged to the price of oil.
The US sees this release of a state-backed cryptocurrency as a way for the South American President, Nicolas Maduro, to "circumvent US sanctions by issuing a digital currency," the White House said in a statement.
The Petro was launched by the government of Venezuela, and strongly backed by its president, Maduro, in February. It was billed as a way for the country to address the civil unrest and try and become financially stable again.
On its release day, there was a late change, as the coin released as an asset on NEM’s Blockchain rather than on Ethereum’s Blockchain. It was said 82.4 mln Petro were going to be available initially and the total supply is to be capped at 100 mln Petro.
The US has a strong history of sanctions against Venezuela with the Madura government one which is not in accordance with that of the US’s ideals. It is a socialist state that was revolutionized by the late President Hugo Chávez.
Trump signed, in August last year, an executive order in August to impose financial sanctions against Venezuela. Many within the country feel these sanctions are unfair, but there is also a growing number who are pushing against the president’s rule.
A difficult order
Despite this signing of the order, it will be difficult for the US to impose this action on a cryptocurrency. The nature of cryptocurrency means that they are borderless, anonymous, but transparent.
This means that there will be easy access to the Petro once it is fully rolled out, and there will be those who can easily disobey the order set by Trump. However, considerations need to be made for those deciding to go against the order as this is a state-backed currency and will be far more centralized and less anonymous.
Mostly well met
The move seems to be well met by those in the US who are already anti-Venezuela, and suspicious of the Petro.
.@POTUS Trump’s executive order on #Venezuela’s Petro digital currency prevents U.S. persons & our financial system from helping #Maduro cronies circumvent international sanctions, loot the resources of the Venezuelan people, and hide the country’s hyperinflation. Buyer beware.— Francisco Palmieri (@WHAAsstSecty) March 19, 2018