Category Archives: Guaido’

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Venezuela’s New Crypto Bill Now Law, but for How Long?

Venezuela’s New Crypto Bill Now Law, but for How Long?

Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency legal framework originally introduced by the country’s Constituent National Assembly came into force on 31 January. But will it last?

The question now remains how long will the legislation hold in its current form due to civil unrest, and most importantly a possible change of power; one which could introduce a path to a more liberal attitude toward cryptocurrencies if Juan Guaidó‘s pro-crypto stance is translated into action.

While Maduro hopes Trump’s threat of intervention doesn’t force a change of leadership in Venezuela, current legislation remains in place. The new Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets being one, sets a new set of rules for miners, crypto entrepreneurs, and regular traders.

The bill essentially outlines that all these operators must be licensed and those who operate without approval will be fined. It also defines crypto terms and confirms that national crypto watchdog Sunacrip will now monitor all cryptocurrency activity with a view to controlling “creation, emission, transfer, commercialization and exchange” within the space.

The registration procedures for crypto exchanges, wallets, and mining entities are outlined in the latest document and introduces the concept of several types of licenses, which would be issued according to different types of managed assets. Penalties for violation of regulations could incur prison terms up to three years and fines between USD 3,000 to USD 6,000.

Regarding mining, the new law permits Sunacrip to inspect mining companies and also confiscate equipment. The hardware would then be used for “social purposes”, although it is unclear exactly what this means. The new laws regulating the industry could be short-lived if Maduro begins to lose his hold on power, an outcome being predicted by many countries around the globe who have openly backed a Guaidó-led new government.

 

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Venezuelan Turmoil Sees $10 Million Spurt on LocalBitcoins

Venezuelan Turmoil Sees  Million Spurt on LocalBitcoins

With the country in turmoil and Venezuela‘s future more uncertain than at any point since 1999 when Hugo Chavez first became president, the trade in Bitcoin has peaked, recording USD 10 million in trading on P2P platform LocalBitcoins in just seven days.

In the past week, the country was thrown into turmoil when Juan Guaido proclaimed himself unofficially as the country’s new president. With Nicolas Maduro still incumbent, Bitcoin P2P trades hit their second-highest weekly total ever. The cryptocurrency, albeit driven underground by the Maduro regime, has been supporting many of those nationals choosing to remain in the country rather than fleeing to neighboring Columbia in order to escape poverty.

As the situation becomes more explosive by the day, and with both Iran and Russia warning the US, who have backed the Maduro presidency, to stay out of Venezuela, nationals are again putting their faith in Bitcoin. In the last week, more Bolivars for Bitcoins were traded than ever before, despite the weakness of the national currency.

It can’t be confirmed if perhaps some of this activity may be due to Guaido’s liberal stance on cryptocurrency and the possibility of a new regime, but the rush on Bitcoin, coinciding with a dump of the bolivar, is unprecedented.

Maduro’s attempts to withdraw the country’s gold supplies this week, having already expelled US diplomats, was thwarted by the Bank of England who currently holds Venezuela’s USD 1.2 billion reserves. As Harvard economist explained, having communicated with Guaido:

“The first rule of business as we speak is to stop the Maduro government from liquidating international assets of the country and steal them.”

 

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