US prohibits transactions with Venezuela's digital currency

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/3/20 8:14:49

US President Donald Trump on Monday issued an executive order prohibiting US transactions with Venezuela's digital currency, a move to further block the South American country's access to US financial market.

The United States blocked "all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token," which have been issued by the Venezuelan government since January 9, said the White House in a statement.

Washington said the new measure has been introduced to counter the latest attempt from the Maduro administration "to circumvent US sanctions."

In late February, Venezuela launched the presale of its own cryptocurrency, a type of digital or virtual currency, backed by its crude oil reserves, as a new financing option against financial sanctions imposed by Washington, which forbid US businesses from lending to the Venezuelan government or the state-run oil and gas company PDVSA.

The US Treasury Department said earlier that the digital currency could violate the sanctions against Venezuela, warning investors who acquire it of legal consequences.

Venezuela had over 3 billion US dollars blocked in the international financial system due to US economic sanctions, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said in December.

The Venezuelan government has been the subject of increased pressure and sanctions from abroad, including the United States and the European Union, for allegedly electoral fraud, corruption and causing widespread poverty.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed in February that his government was ready to receive international observers to oversee presidential elections on April 22.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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