Petro Investors Look To Russia Bank For Purchases – Could Upend US Sanctions

Investing, News, Regulation | May 14, 2018 By:

A Moscow bank has instituted a program for Venezuela’s Petro coin, allowing investors to acquire the oil-backed coin and circumvent US sanctions.

Evrofinance Mosnarbank, which has been a minor bank in Russia, so far is the only international financial institution willing to sell the Petro. Not surprisingly, its biggest shareholders are Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s  government and two state-controlled Russian companies currently under US sanctions.

The venture is noteworthy in that it provides a test case for the effectiveness of real-world sanctions on rogue country ecosystems. If Venezuela is able to get traction with the Petro – and the jury is still out on that – it could potentially lead to countries like Iran, Syria and others developing cryptocurrenies in defiance of the international community.

In the case of the Petro, investors who registered with Venezuela’s government and downloaded the Petro wallet software could buy the cryptocurrency 1,000 euros or more to a Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance.

The two sanctioned Russian companies participating in the Petro buying and selling are Zeus Exchange and Aerotrading.

Russia is also keenly watching how this plays out. The country is also battling sanctions, and is working toward developing a sovereign cryptocurrency.

In March, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Americans from owning or dealing in the Petro.