SatoshiLabs, the manufacturer of the Trezor hardware wallet, has moved to distance itself from a somewhat unexpected endorsement from Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.
Around 18 minutes into an hour-long state TV segment on cryptocurrencies that was also shared on the president's Facebook page, Maduro met representatives of a company named Trezorvenezuela, who gifted the president with a Trezor hardware wallet. Maduro responded by holding the device up to the camera and expressing his approval.
But Satoshilabs has responded by issuing a statement claiming they have no official representatives in Venezuela. Trezor distanced itself from Trezorvenezuela – claiming the latter could even be guilty of copyright violations.
"We’re in no way associated with those people claiming to be official representatives of Trezor, and do not endorse or permit their use of our brand. We are carefully investigating this copyright infringement. These individuals were authorized resellers of Trezor based on a mutual agreement made in Q3 2018. We removed this reseller from the list of our authorized resellers in June 2019 due to inactivity."
Trezor admitted that it had given 150 Trezor One wallets to its "good friends" in the Bitcoin Venezuela organization, but "to our knowledge, none of these devices" were among those presented before President Maduro.
The company also stated,
"We would like to highlight our stance towards the political situation in Venezuela. Trezor and Satoshilabs do not associate with any political figure, serving or retired, in Venezuela or in any other region."
Maduro heads what many in the United States have called a "rogue state" and the country has been hit with crippling America-led sanctions – as has the country's Petro token.
Maduro has attempted to retaliate by creating a "crypto-economy." In fact, the main purpose of the video in question was showcasing the new Petro counters and ATMs that have opened at all 23 of the Banco de Venezuela's state branches – a subject that Cryptonews.com reported on earlier this week.
Readers may also recall that Maduro has reportedly amassed considerable Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings from trade deals conducted in cryptocurrencies - leading one Twitter user to quip that Maduro is "storing his nation's sovereign wealth in Bitcoin in a Trezor."