OFAC FAQ ON VENEZUELAN DIGITAL CURRENCY

On 19th January OFAC published updated FAQ regarding US persons’ involvement in the Venezuelan government’s proposed digital currency.

551. In December 2017, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced plans for the Government of Venezuela to launch a digital currency.  According to public reporting, Maduro indicated that the digital currency would carry rights to receive commodities in specified quantities at a later date.  Were the Venezuelan government to issue a digital currency with these characteristics, would U.S. persons be prohibited from purchasing or otherwise dealing in it under E.O. 13808?

A currency with these characteristics would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government.   Executive Order 13808 prohibits U.S. persons from extending or otherwise dealing in new debt with a maturity of greater than 30 days of the Government of Venezuela.  U.S. persons that deal in the prospective Venezuelan digital currency may be exposed to U.S. sanctions risk. [1/19/2018]

 

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180119.aspx?src=ilaw

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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