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Trump bans Venezuelan government's new cryptocurrency

President Donald Trump. Photo: Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump on Monday signed an executive order prohibiting U.S. citizens from buying Venezuela's newly created 'Petro' cryptocurrency, and a senior administration official says the White House is mulling additional sanctions on the country.

The backdrop: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose tenure has been marked by swelling authoritarianism and economic chaos, is seeking re-election in May. These sanctions are part of U.S. efforts to punish his regime. Maduro's government launched the world's first state-issued cryptocurrency last month in hopes of boosting its plunging economy and circumventing U.S. and European financial sanctions.