Venezuela Rolls Out Ethereum-Based Stock Exchange to Help Skirt US Sanctions

The blockchain-based exchange comes as part of new measures announced by Pres. Nicolas Maduro in a bid to sidestep tough U.S. sanctions.

Oct 2, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:03 a.m. UTC

Venezuela has launched a "decentralized" national stock exchange built atop the Ethereum blockchain.

  • Enabled under a new law listed in the country's Official Gazette on Tuesday, the exchange comes as part of new measures announced by President Nicolas Maduro in a bid to sidestep tough U.S. sanctions.
  • A draft of a wider "Anti-blockade Law for National Development and the Guarantee of Human Rights," aimed to give the government tools to "defeat all mechanisms of persecution and international blockade," was also announced Tuesday in a speech to the country's National Assembly.
  • Already launched, the new BDVE exchange is built to enable Venezuelan investors to trade stocks, bonds and real estate in digital form.
  • It is said to run on the Ethereum blockchain digitizing traditional assets using the ERC-223 and ERC-721 token standards, according to its operation manual.
  • Authorized by the office of the National Securities Superintendence, the exchange will undergo a trial for 90 days, during which time authorities will decide whether to approve or revoke its trading license.
  • U.S. sanctions have hit Venezuela's economy hard in what Maduro calls a violation of Venezuela's human rights.
  • The president said the anti-sanctions law would empower Venezuela's oil-backed cryptocurrency, known as the petro, as well as other cryptocurrencies, for national and foreign trade.
  • The news comes soon after Venezuela legalized the cryptocurrency mining industry, but at the same time specified that private operations must all work through a pool controlled by the government.
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