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Bitcoin Government The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Trump Bans Venezuela's New National Cryptocurrency (cnbc.com) 170

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: President Donald Trump issued an executive order Monday banning any transactions within the United States involving any digital currency issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela. The order applies to U.S. citizens as well as anyone within the United States, and includes cryptocurrency issued on or after January 9. President Trump's order is in response to recent attempts by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime to "circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency," the White House said in a statement. Venezuela launched its oil-backed cryptocurrency in February to help pull the country out of a continuing economic crisis. President Maduro said each petro token will be backed by one barrel of the state's national petroleum. Maduro also said roughly 100 million tokens would be issued -- estimated to be worth around $6 billion. Bitcoin prices dropped about $200 to around $8,388, according to Coinbase, following the order.
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Trump Bans Venezuela's New National Cryptocurrency

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  • Does Dear Leader (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Have the authority to do this? Like Obama the executive branch keeps getting more and more audacious with these executive orders.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, he does not. He can ban it from the government, but he has zero authority to tell individuals or companies what they can and can't accept as payment for goods or services.

      • The executive branch enforces the laws. Unless there exists a law that violating this ban would also infringe, someone with enough money to see this through court can get it blocked or overturned.

        Of course Joe Blow in his basement buying some crypto-bolivars (or whatever) would have no ability to stop the SS* from dragging him from his home, shooting his dog, and destroying his computers...

        As in Secret Service, who deals with currency related issues, but pun partially intended.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Precisely, he has the authority to prohibit US banks from doing business with any person or oganizaion that does business with corrupt Venezuelan officials. This ban is not only well within his authority, but consistent with the intent of the legislation directing the economic embargo against the Venezuelan dicator and his cronies.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        I reckon he has a global fiscal authority, might be more peaceful if the US gets to be the core of a global energy futures crypto currency, no need for energy wars, global transaction currency solved, tied individual to national currencies and in turn the energy those countries are capable of supplying or the goods and services to buy that energy. A global transaction market, no competitors allowed. Then again it might be just a useful if they weren't, little be rougher but still the same largely conflict f

    • Re:Does Dear Leader (Score:5, Informative)

      by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @05:11PM (#56286675) Homepage

      I'm going to say no. He's not telling the government what to do. He's trying to make something illegal (aka against the law).

      He's trying to cite emergency powers:

      International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)

      And I think it would be awfully hard to call this a national emergency for us. On the other hand, it was Barack Obama that called it an emergency, and this new executive order merely cites it: https://www.federalregister.go... [federalregister.gov]

      So yes, these executive orders are getting out of hand.

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        IIUC the US has officially been under emergency powers since sometime during WWII. I never heard that they were repealed, and I believe that they were implemented without a sunset clause.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Since 1979 under Jimmy Carter. The ones FDR put in place have expired. They all have to be renewed yearly and there are something like 30 of them in place. Long story short the president can declare a national emergency for really anything he wants. Its just a BS loop hole to subvert our system of government and you can thank the lazy inept Congress critters who failed us and our country. They are being used currently to do everything from the war on drugs, illegal detention and torture of terrorists, force

    • Re:Does Dear Leader (Score:5, Informative)

      by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @05:12PM (#56286689)

      The embargo of trade with Cuba was initiated by an executive order, so there's strong precedence for it.

    • In this case, yes. There are already sanctions in place. The executive is responsible for enforcing them.

      As Venezuela is trying to bypass them, he is responsible for and authorized to curtail those workarounds.

      • Sure. Economic sanctions. That power to force good men and women at the bottom end of poverty to suffer, starve, and die, despite having done nothing, because some of the dear leaders in their country haven't danced to your tune.

        Did you want terrorists? Because this is how you get terrorists.

    • Have the authority to do this? Like Obama the executive branch keeps getting more and more audacious with these executive orders.

      In particular, does this mean that we can no longer gas up at Citgo stations?

    • Re:Does Dear Leader (Score:4, Informative)

      by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @06:44PM (#56287397) Journal

      Per executive order 13692 [treasury.gov], you cannot send any property to Venezuela. The IRS considers cryptocurrencies as property [irs.gov]. Thus trading - sending or buying - in Venezuelan crypto is not legal. Unless, of course, the underlying executive order is illegal - but that's not been determined yet.

      Based on the above, it is quite clear that President Trump didn't add anything new, just explicitly listed Venezuela's cryptocurrency as banned - which it already was, per the earlier EO and existing IRS statutes.

    • Like Obama the executive branch keeps getting more and more audacious with these executive orders.

      You mean like how Obama has issued the lowest number of executive orders of any president in the past 125 years (corrected for length of sitting term)?

  • This is retarded. "Banning" cryptocurrency is akin to trying to ban Math. Yeah, good luck with that.

    Hypothetical: So if I "own" Venezuelan cryptocoin will I be hauled off to jail ???

    Hypothetical: If I leave the U.S., say go visit Canada, can I then "buy" Venezuelan cryptocoins?

    • "The order applies to U.S. citizens as well as anyone within the United States."

      So no, you cannot legally buy Venezuelan cryptocoins, ever. Trump said so!

      • legally

        Funny word you chose. Now cite the law in question.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bgrahambo ( 1946720 )
          Typical comment section troll; has no idea of the contents that he's commenting on. As all other executive orders do, this executive order lists the laws cited in the first paragraph: "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,"
          • That makes him able to make an executive order. It doesn't make it a law or any American's actions illegal. Obama calling Venezuala's situation a "national emergency" for us is highly questionable - and from there, that makes anything predicated on that really shaky to start with.

        • Awfully snarky of you. The law is right there in the order. I'm not even a Trump supporter, but there is nothing even remotely fishy about this order. There are literally a couple dozen of orders under this statute in place.

          I shouldn't have to do this, but I will anyway.
          https://www.treasury.gov/resou... [treasury.gov] Enjoy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        I'm not exactly certain that Lord Trump can tell me what I can and can't spend my money on. Last time I checked Congress made the laws, not the office of the President.

        • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @05:27PM (#56286819) Homepage

          Congress already gave him the authority: 50 U.S. Code  1701 and 50 U.S. Code  1702

        • A long while ago, the USoA congress made a law that allowed the executive branch to take special meassures and granted it special powers in case a country was a "threat to USoA security".

          Lord Obama declared Venezuela an "unnusual threat", and even renewed the declaration one year latter, just before Lord Trump's Inauguration.

          Lord Trump renewed it once more.

          But, what lord trump is telling you is to use your money as you see fit EXCEPT in aiding threats to national security. Just as you are supposed NOT to sp

          • by PrimaryConsult ( 1546585 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @06:28PM (#56287307)

            Just as you are supposed NOT to spend your money on goods sold by ISIS, you are not supposed to buy Venezuelan bonds, including the petro.

            In that case I wonder why Citgo is still allowed to operate in the US. Oh yeah, because entrenched interests like it that way. Funny how calls of "national security" don't apply when influential people with large amounts of money stand to lose it...

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @07:22PM (#56287717) Homepage

              Funny how calls of "national security"

              National security is a nice catch all phrase that they use when they want to do a end run around the law and strip you of your rights. Unless its about guns, then its "think of the children."

            • by dwye ( 1127395 )

              Most Citgo stations are privately owned, by Americans or legal American residents. Venezuela sold the vast majority years ago, probably in anticipating something like this order or its predecessors. Where they get their gas, now, I do not know, but it shouldn't be hard to find some from US refineries.

              Any still owned by Venezuela would have been shut down during President Obama's term, by his executive orders.

              Sorry, nothing to see here.

          • These Lords you speak of...are they aristocratic like the House of Lords? Or tyrannical like the Sith Lords?

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

              Or tyrannical like the Sith Lords?

              Sometimes I would rather deal with Sith Lords. At least they are honest about their goals.

    • This is not a "pure" cryptocurrency. Each unit is backed by a barrel of oil. It can only be created by Venezuela. The crypto part simply is a way of transferring it.

      In short, you can't mine it and you pretty much have to obtain it from Venezuela government directly or indirectly.

      • Trump is giving it more credibility than it deserves.

        It should just sink without a glug. Would you buy currency from this nation at their exchange rate?

        • Ideally you'd invest in it right before POTUS brings it to everyone's attention then dump it right after.
    • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @05:12PM (#56286691) Homepage

      "Banning" cryptocurrency is akin to trying to ban Math. Yeah, good luck with that.

      Banning math is not exactly new [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mi ( 197448 )

      It is fairly common for /.-ers to not bother reading TFA. But the answers to your "sarcastic" questions are right there in the write-up — you didn't have to click away to read them...

      So if I "own" Venezuelan cryptocoin will I be hauled off to jail ???

      The executive order bans transactions — not ownership. If you own it, you aren't subject to any punishment until you try to sell it.

      If I leave the U.S., say go visit Canada, can I then "buy" Venezuelan cryptocoins?

      If you are a US citizen, you will b

      • Perhaps more importantly is why would you seek to circumvent this one... Maduro's government is even more stupid and evil [elpais.com] than Chavez' was

        One valid reason to want to put your hat in the ring is if it actually goes somewhere, getting in on the ground floor can make you a lot of money. Evil can be profitable, and for those that do not believe in some form of karma, afterlife, or divine punishment, there's no logical reason to not take advantage provided any potential punishment is outweighed by the profit. See: the premise of Breaking Bad.

        • True. However, because it's tied to oil (unlike bitcoin which is tied to nothing), isn't the upside potential only ever the price of a barrel of oil? I'm not too bullish on oil long term, though I admit others might have good reasons for feeling that there is nowhere to go but up with oil... So, unfair though it might be, because this petro-coin is tied to something tangible, its value might be very limited.

      • Chavez managed to not only destroy Venezuela's economy

        What are economic sanctions for?

    • Per the EO, if you owned the Venezuelan cryptocoin before January 9th, 2018 - you can keep owning. If you trade it, sell it, give it away, or purchase more - you're in trouble.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Its like banning banking. No new cash flows to a failed nation.
      Cryptocurrency is just another way of sneaking in new funding.
  • If someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understood from a previous article, the Venezuelan government is not allowed to issue debt on their oil by even their own laws. But by issuing cryptocurrency it is essentially selling notes exchangeable for oil they can't provide (so basically debt). That is an interesting thought about what cryptocurrency is really. We know regular currency is basically debt exchangeable for goods, so cryptocurrency is the same but where is the value of crytocurrency comin
    • I just don't see how bitcoin is even maintaining it's current price because if you can't buy anything with it then what use is it? I guess does anyone know what you can still buy with bitcoin?

      You can still trade bitcoin for legal currency, as long as you can find someone who wants your bitcoin. You know, like any kind of currency. It's good for moving money around the planet when the authorities don't want you to, but won't actually raise a finger to stop you. It doesn't hide the transaction, but it does make possible transactions which banks won't make.

    • Why would it be debt if you store one barrel of oil for each coin?

      I just don't see how bitcoin is even maintaining it's current price because if you can't buy anything with it then what use is it?
      Hae? That is a silly statement/question. You can nearly buy everything you want with bitcoin.

      • That is a silly statement/question. You can nearly buy everything you want with bitcoin.

        Really? I'm going to dinner tomorrow night at Mastro's Ocean Club [mastrosrestaurants.com]. Can I pay for it with Bitcoin? How about my trip this coming weekend to Singapore - I'll be staying at some nice hotels, going to a trade show, I can pay for that with Bitcoin?

        • Yes. They take VISA, aka you can spend Bitcoin there.

          I got a card from Coinbase. Anywhere I can use a VISA, I can spend my cryptocurrency. My card by itself would be accepted most places in Singapore, and I could withdraw local currency as needed.

          As for me personally? I actually couldn't pay for it with Bitcoin because I liquidated all my Bitcoin at a value maybe ten percent below it's current value, but I could pay for stuff with Bitcoin Cash ... not that what I have left would go very far.

          I invested in Mt

        • Are you an idiot or what?

          Obviously you can spent your bitcoins only at places that accept bitcoin ...

          Why waste your time to make such a retarded post?

          • You can nearly buy everything you want with bitcoin.

            You stated it. And yes, it was a retarded post. I have no idea why you claimed what you did...

  • To a government who calls you Satan? OK. BuhBye.
    • Really?

      I've had plenty of paychecks signed by people who probably had abandoned any traces of morality. I've been on phone calls with customers who hated me and any concept I might have been associated with, but whose business supported my paycheck.

      You're telling me that investing in a cryptocurrency might support some government I don't like? I couldn't care less. It might go against some hairy muppet in office? I actually could care less... if it goes against that moron's desires, it moves my give-a-damn

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sargon does a good job of explaining the current status of Venezuela. If you're smart you won't buy their crypto.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNjtpksJD4s&t=386s

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @05:23PM (#56286783) Journal

    Bitcoin prices dropped about $200 to around $8,388, according to Coinbase, following the order.

    Bitcoin prices fell way more than that the day before, because someone farted in a trading room I assume. And now they are going back up. This stuff's really volatile, a $200 price change is just noise.

    • Just like news articles often post the stock market has dropped 400 points for reason x, and by the time the article is posted the market is up 200 points. Most movement in financial markets have a lot more factors than news articles usually account for.

  • A project that sprang from a motivation to eliminate the ability for central bankers to arbitrarily print money (by transferring the function of money creation to "the people") becomes the very tool used to facilitate it. Shockingly, It turns out that governments are members of the set called "the people." /s

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @06:19PM (#56287243)
    on Venezuela while we help the Saudi's bomb Yemen? [google.com] I get that they're government is sketchy, but we support something like 80% of the world's dictatorships. If we're trying to take the high ground on Democracy that boat has sailed, circumnavigated the globe and returned laden with exotic spice (joke shamelessly stolen from Yatzee of Zero Punctuation fame)
    • Because there is a large military base and the bombs used to bomb Yemeni's from the stone age back into the stone age are 'murikan bombs, thus profit! We have a whole city there to support the bombing and that's all, profit! That is one reason we gleefully endorse the atrocities inflicted on an impoverished peoples by their very oil-wealthy neighbors. Oil!

      • by dwye ( 1127395 )

        We support bombing Shiite Yemeni, and when Sunni Yemeni get hit that is the unfortunate effects of war. If Iran had not paid the Shiites to try to take over Yemen, it would still warrant its Roman name of Arabica Felix (I think that is how they spelled it -- Happy Arabia, not Arabian Cat).

        • Why is it ok to bomb Shiite Yemeni and not Sunni Yemeni? Are they not all humans who should be free to live their lives?

          I find weird the lack of consistency too being that Osama Bin Laden was a Sunni Muslim and he was our enemy... What is that about? Do we hate both Sunni's and Shiites or does that vary by region? Also, why the big hard on for Iran? We destabilized their nation by installing a puppet ruler and now we're mad that they're trying to get their shit together? Nation-building is hard work, w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Childrens lives threatened by gun violence..
    Foreign manipulation of elections..
    Healthcare..

    NOPE... it's Venezuela!

    LOLWUT!?!

  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Gandhi

  • Venezuela has enough problems already: leave them alone. The world is full of dictators, why focus on them?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why is he trying to double the amount of EO's Obama wrote

  • Till China bans Venezuela's Cryptocurrency

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