Skip to Content

The US has banned transactions that use Venezuela’s crypto token

March 20, 2018

Even Donald Trump is talking about crypto now—well, if you call the petro a cryptocurrency.

Backstory: Last month, Venezuela issued its own crypto token, called the petro. It’s supposed to be pegged to the price of the nation’s oil, but some critics suggested that it was just a ploy to get around US-imposed economic sanctions.

The news: Donald Trump has now signed an executive order calling “all transactions related to” it illegal.

Why it's happened: The US administration warned investors back in January that Americans using the petro would risk violating sanctions, since it “would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government.” Since then, several members of Congress had piled pressure on the administration to go further and limit the currency’s use.

Nice try, Venezuela: Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a policy think tank in Washington, DC, that advocates for blockchain companies, told CoinDesk that there’s “nothing new” in this executive order: “Issuing a cryptocurrency is not going to help Venezuela escape sanctions.”


Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.