A crypto analyst says a new US Senate bill targeting Venezuela’s state-backed cryptocurrency could create a “road map” for a ban on Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
Among other ambitions, S. 1025, dubbed VERDAD (Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019, would enshrine into law a 2018 executive order from President Donald Trump that banned American citizens, residents and businesses from trading with the Petro, Venezuela’s state cryptocurrency.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro launched the Petro in February 2018 as an official digital alternative to the bolivar, though it appears the supposedly oil-pegged crypto asset, derided as a scam, never got off the ground.
Some crypto advocates see the Senate’s bill, which got placed on the legislative calendar under General Orders in June and has bipartisan support, as a potential gateway to severely stringent crypto regulations.
Says Jason Brett, the founder of the Value Technology Foundation, in an interview with Forbes,
“The implications for this are huge because it could be Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency inserted into this language. We’re talking about a road map for how to ban a particular cryptocurrency.”
The bill states that transactions that “relate to, provide financing for, or otherwise deal in any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Maduro regime are prohibited beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.”
It also empowers the Secretaries of State and Treasury to create an assessment of how any Maduro-backed crypto could be used to circumvent U.S. sanctions.
“Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, shall develop a methodology to assess how any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Maduro regime is being utilized to circumvent or undermine United States sanctions.”
You can check out the proposed legislation here.