The Venezuelan government led by Nicolas Maduro introduced the state-backed cryptocurrency El Petro in 2018 in a bid to circumvent US sanctions against the country. However the Petro was backed, among other things, by gold with $1.2 billion worth of it stored in the Bank of England, which has recently refused to repatriate it.
Several cryptocurrency experts have slammed the recent decision by the Bank of England to deny Nicolas Maduro government’s request to return the state’s gold reserve to Venezuela, as a blatant case of the bank refusing to return assets belonging to the client.
READ MORE: Bank of England to Decide on Venezuelan Gold, Not UK Government — Foreign Office
Philip Nunn, the CEO of Wealth Chain Capital that provides services for investments in cryptocurrencies, noted that it was totally unfair of the UK to refuse to return the gold, which rightfully belongs to Venezuela.
Another cryptocurrency expert, Anthony Pompliano, one of the founders of the Morgan Creek Capital Management hedge fund, also slammed the Bank of England’s actions and noted that it’s a vivid example of why the world needs an “uncensorable, unseizable” cryptocurrency.
A market analyst writing for German newspaper Die Welt, Holger Zschaepitz has labelled the case as further proof to keep gold reserves in the country itself, not in foreign banks.
The Bank of England recently refused to give Venezuela back $1.2 billion worth of gold, which is a significant part of the country’s $8 billion gold reserves. It’s unclear where the rest of it is being kept.
The UK Foreign Office has refused to comment on the decision, stating that it was “a decision for the Bank of England, not for government”. At the same time, the Foreign Office noted that many states question the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro and recognise Juan Guaido, who called the Bank of England’s decision a protection of Venezuelan assets.
The rejection takes place amid US efforts to cut Maduro’s government off from its foreign assets. Last week, Washington and several other western states recognised Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela after he was appointed to the post by the currently non-functioning National Assembly. Russia, China, and Turkey, have vowed to back the legal government of President Nicolas Maduro.