Trump issued an order on Monday prohibiting U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions using the oil-backed currency, called the Petro. He authorized Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to issue any necessary regulations to enforce his order.
Maduro created the currency to try to salvage his country’s failing economy, where inflation is estimated to spiral to 13,000 percent this year.
The ban complicates the Maduro government’s efforts to boost its foreign reserves through a digital token. Venezuela’s offering accepted transactions in U.S. dollars and euros, meaning that Venezuelan citizens are forbidden from participating given a ban on buying foreign currency.
100 million petros are expected to be released. At first, only 82.4 million will be disbursed.
Venezuelan and Russian government officials with Putin’s personal approval worked together to create the currency.