The US Treasury Department yesterday warned against Venezuela’s proposed cryptocurrency.
‘Petro’ aims to offer investors a crypto-token backed against Venezuelan national oil.
In doing this, President Maduro hopes to bypass the sanctions that have seen the country’s economy crumble.
But taking part in this token sale, which could be launched on the Ethereum network, could land US citizens in hot water.
A US Treasury spokesperson yesterday told the Reuters news network that “The petro digital currency would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government … (and) could therefore expose U.S. persons to legal risk.”
Aside from criminal issues, there must surely be a moral element to any involvement with the petro coin.
Any purchase of petro would be direct support for an oppressive regime. Since 2014 over 230 protesters have been killed by government forces on the streets.
Opposition political parties have been banned, journalists imprisoned, and human rights organizations are alleging widespread torture.
The planned sale could value the token in the billions, and if this were realized it would likely represent a direct theft of natural resources from the Venezuelan people to a minority of corrupt authoritarians.