On 7 April, Insight Crime reported that Venezuela is increasingly turning to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, raising questions about its possible use in laundering money and evading US sanctions, not unlike the way Venezuela already uses the gold trade. New ATM machines allow Venezuelans to trade fiat currency for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. In 2018, President Nicolás Maduro launched a digital currency dubbed “the petro,” claiming it would “move the country toward new forms of international financing for economic and social development” – but this failed. However, it is said to have provided cover for the Maduro regime to create structures that would allow corrupt military leaders to launder money in the form of the cryptocurrency exchanges.
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