US Senators warn Trump admin on Venezuelan cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Maduro and his proposed Venezuelan cryptocurrency “El Petro”, has become a matter of concern for US Senators. In a press release, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today urged U.S. Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin to outline the department’s enforcement mechanisms and efforts to combat the Venezuelan plans to use cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions.

In an open letter to Secretary Mnuchin, they listed a series of questions and wrote their concerns.

"As such, we are concerned that a cryptocurrency could provide Maduro a mechanism by which to make payments to foreign lenders and bondholders in the United States, actions that would clearly thwart the intent of U.S.-imposed sanctions. Furthermore, Maduro’s actions and any corresponding response from the Department will be closely watched by foreign sovereign states like Russia and North Korea that have expressed interest in either developing their own sovereign-backed cryptocurrencies or exploiting other cryptocurrencies for nefarious purposes."

Seeking the Trump Administration’s efforts to ensure Venezuela does not circumvent sanctions, they requested to closely monitor any developments and to provide information on the Department’s efforts to be answered by January 31, 2018.

Senators said, Venezuela people continue to suffer through a years-long economic crisis that has put food, medicine, and basic services out of reach, and thousands continue to protest the failed and brutal policies of the regime. The United States has responded appropriately, imposing a wide array of targeted sanctions against Venezuelan officials in Maduro’s inner circle. "We have serious doubts about whether Venezuela has the capacity to launch a cryptocurrency," added senetors.

On Dec 3 2017, in a television broadcast, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the “El Petro”, a cryptocurrency backed by nation's oil reserves, as a part of accepting the world of digital currency and to support the economy of Venezuela.

Couple of weeks back, an alleged white paper for 'El Petro' was shared on social media, and could not receive positive response from the community. According to a source, the Venezuela says 'false information' published about petro cryptocurrency; and that the official presentation of the White Paper regarding the petro will soon be made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Also read: Venezuela to launch 'El Petro', a cryptocurrency backed by oil

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