Just days after Venezuela announced that they are initiating a public sale of the Petro on 5 November 2018, and have completely re-designed it to be an X11 crypto like Dash, the United States Congress has put forth a bill which will completely ban the Petro. In addition, the bill calls for an international investigation of all other cryptocurrencies designed to circumvent international sanctions.

The Venezuelan Petro was already banned by an Executive Order from President Trump of the United States on 19 March 2018. This bill is similar to the executive order, but cements the Petro ban into congressional law and expands on the ban. The primary reason the Petro is being banned by the United States is that the Petro will likely be used to circumvent international sanctions.

The bill is titled Venezuelan Humanitarian Relief, Reconstruction and Rule of Law Act of 2018, and is a bill with many new laws and efforts concerning Venezuela, with a sub-section on cryptocurrency towards the end of the bill. The ban on Petro specifically says “All transactions by a United States person or within the United States that relate to, provide financing for, provide software for, or otherwise deal in any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela are prohibited beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.” All agencies of the United States government are given permission to enforce this law. The penalties of breaking the law are unknown at this point, but violating this law could be equivalent to an act of treason.

Further, the United States Congress is calling for a global investigation of any cryptocurrency that is being used to violate international sanctions. Specifically, efforts by states, state-sponsored actors, and non-state sponsored actors to circumvent or evade United States sanctions with crypto will be investigated, and the report submitted to Congress within 6 months. The report will include recommendations on how to inhibit crypto from compromising sanctions.

It will certainly be interesting to watch how Venezuela’s Petro survives in the face of the full weight and power of the United States government. This will be a true test of X11 crypto’s ability to send anonymous and secure transactions.

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