US Residents may face legal issues if they invest in the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency

US Residents may face legal issues if they invest in the new Venezuelan cryptocurrency
on February 22, 2018

Although most State Department-issued sanctions apply to certain specific Venezuelan individuals, according to the US Treasury, US Residents may not invest in any Venezuelan government entity for a period longer than 30 days:

Subsection 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 13808 prohibits engaging in transactions related to, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new debt with a maturity of longer than 30 days issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of any other segment of the Government of Venezuela, its property, or its interests in property. That subsection further prohibits engaging in transactions related to, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new equity issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the Government of Venezuela, its property, or its interests in property, which includes PdVSA.

This restriction applies to US citizens inside the USA and to others as defined by EO 13808:

These actions prohibit transactions by U.S. persons as defined in E.O. 13808, wherever they are located, and transactions within the United States. This action does not require U.S. persons to block the property or interests in property of the Government of Venezuela, and the Government of Venezuela will not be added to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). U.S. persons should reject transactions or dealings that are prohibited by E.O. 13808, and to the extent required by Section 501.604 of the Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations (31 C.F.R. part 501), U.S. persons must report to OFAC any rejected transactions within 10 business days. [08-25-2017]

Although we understand that the People of Venezuela, and not the government, will end up paying the price for this situation, we must realize that buying centralized state-sanctioned crypto is not the solution.

We urge US Residents to clarify the present legal situation of the Venezuelan Petro cryptocurrency with an attorney, or wait for official word from the US Government, before investing.

Photo Credit: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr via Wikimedia Commons