Venezuela will use digital currencies to continue selling oil and thus try to escape American sanctions.

The game of cat and mouse. The Venezuelan public oil company (PDVSA) indicated on Wednesday April 24 that it was going to use cryptocurrencies more in its exports to circumvent American sanctions.

In question, the announcement by the United States to reimpose oil sanctions on Venezuela after the government of President Nicolás Maduro continued the repression of its opponents during the presidential election of April 6, 2024. The American authorities had announced that they would not renew the license allowing the purchase of Venezuelan oil and gas by the United States, which expired on Thursday April 18.

The Venezuelan state oil company has therefore decided to accelerate the transfer of its oil sales to USDT (Tether), a digital currency whose value is pegged to the US dollar and designed to maintain a stable value (1 USDT = 1 dollar ). Venezuela wants to avoid having its foreign bank accounts frozen due to American sanctions.

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Tether will not help Venezuela

Problem: Tether will not help Venezuela circumvent US sanctions. The issuer said it would freeze wallets that use the USDT “stablecoin” to evade sanctions on oil exports. “Tether complies with the OFAC SDN List and is committed to ensuring that sanction addresses are properly frozen,” a Tether spokesperson told Coindesk on April 24.

Venezuela began experimenting with cryptocurrencies in 2018 with “petro”, a token created to combat economic instability and US sanctions. Last January, however, the government announced its cessation after the failure of its adoption by the general public and a corruption scandal. The use of cryptocurrencies would allow PDVSA to avoid carrying out cash transactions and thus limit the risk of seizure by the United States of foreign bank accounts.


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