The government of Venezuela (“GOV”) has recently introduced the Petro token (“PTR”), which purports to be a cryptocurrency backed by oil. We see the PTR as having limited utility. In addition, it could be construed as an attempt to circumvent legitimate sanctions against the GOV.
Effective March 19, 2018, the United States has prohibited U.S. persons from all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token issued by, for, or on behalf of the GOV, including but not limited to the Central Bank of Venezuela, the state-owned oil company (PdVSA), and any entity owned or controlled by or acting on behalf of the GOV. This includes the PTR, but may include other tokens as and when introduced in the future.
We have never had plans to include the PTR or similar tokens in the Bitfinex trading platform. In light of the U.S. sanctions and the other clear sanctions risks of dealing in these products, Bitfinex will not list or transact the PTR or other similar digital tokens. This restriction extends to all customers of the platform, including U.S. persons, and to all activities on Bitfinex, including deposits, financing, trading, and withdrawals.
Furthermore, all contractors and employees of Bitfinex, wherever situated, are prohibited from transacting in the PTR or other digital tokens as specified above, effective immediately.