The decision was made yesterday, just a day before Venezuela’s petro Initial Coin Offerin (ICO) is to begin today.
It’s unclear what legal basis was used for the decision, with the order stating it was made “in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency in a process that Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly has denounced as unlawful.”
With the sanctions themselves first imposed by Obama, then extended by Trump, both on the basis of human rights abuses.
The effect of the order for now has been to increase awareness of petro, with google searches spiking and seemingly headed back to all-time high.
As can be seen above, interest was seemingly waining and headed downwards, but with Trump unleashing a petro media blitz, the Canadians seemingly want to know what is this thing.
As do the Colombians, Venezuela’s neighbors, so much so that Trump has instantly made petro more popular than ethereum:
Raising the question as to why he decided to take such action considering popular opinion in the west was very much against the ICO, American citizens were very much aware that purchasing it was a legal grey area at best, and no reputable exchange or entity was in any way likely to deal with it.
Moreover, Venezuela was mainly targeting their allies, including those in Qatar and Turkey, probably in Russia, but there were reports Americans and Europeans had bought in the pre-sale.
The later part might perhaps be a sufficient reason to justify the order, which pretty much directly has probably considerably raised awareness in petro.
But it might also be that US is caught off-guard. Because from a realpolitiks perspective, Venezuela’s move is quite ingenious, and very unexpected.
They have in effect created their own bond market by tapping into decentralized global networks that are neutral in their foundations, like the internet, rather than relying on banks or other financial institutions.
Which makes it historic, because this is an innovation in finance at a scale not seen for 500 years. In response to it, America is trying to use old instruments, such as a piece of paper which in effect says the discharge of negative and positive energy must not result in electricity.
We suspect the reason why their response has been so inadequate is because their civil service has for years now just wished this crypto thing goes away, rather than seeing what has so many so interested.
Following the boom in 2017 they finally have started taking it seriously, with a new report suggesting some indepth analysis, rather than graduate essay like descriptions as contained in their previous reports.
But they are still not understanding the game. Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners. America has the tech brains. They should be leading, they should be innovating at the government level, they should be tapping into these global markets themselves.
They don’t perhaps because they think they have an adequate way of doing so already, but so did Kodak think, and so did Nokia.
Neither could see what opportunities the digital revolution offered. If America’s government continues to likewise do, then they might keep not winning and might keep responding to events.