Crypto Exchanges are Shut Down in Venezuela
- President Nicolas Maduro recently ordered the arrest of Venezuela’s Superintendent of Cryptoassets, Joselit Ramirez, over alleged corruption.
- Venezuela has previously shown support for cryptocurrency, but recent events suggest that the country could change its approach.
Venezuela had huge potential to become a crypto hub, but the activities of the last few days have shown the country is in need of a revamp of its system. Crypto enthusiasts in the nation have woken up to uncomfortable news since President Nicolas Maduro ordered the arrest of Venezuela’s Superintendent of Cryptoassets, Joselit Ramirez, and the restructuring of the nation’s crypto regulatory body.
Venezuela’s National Superintendency of Cryptoassets, or “Sunacrip,” announced the closure of all crypto exchanges registered in the country due to concerns about the poor state of Venezuela’s crypto economy.
While there’s yet to be an official confirmation, Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies told media sources that the shutdown of exchanges is happening as Venezuela continues its anti-corruption investigation that has so far implicated Joselit Ramirez and Tareck el Aissami, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, who serves as his political ally.
Jose Angel Alvarez, president of Asonacrip, said in an interview,
We believe that private companies should not be blamed for what is happening inside the regulatory body, and that we should promote the full activation of all cryptocurrency operations (in Venezuela).
Venezuela could be set for drastic changes in terms of its relationship with cryptocurrencies. Recent events are a far cry from the previous interest the country had in crypto assets. President Maduro previously promoted cryptocurrencies as instruments to revitalize the country’s economy.
Interestingly, the Venezuelan government went ahead to legalize cryptocurrencies, develop Petro, its own cryptocurrency, and formalize the registration of cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the country’s interest in crypto only aided corruption at higher levels.
This is a developing story and will be updated to include recent events.