Venezuela Shuts Down Crypto Mining Facilities
Venezuela’s energy supplier has closed crypto mining facilities throughout the country as part of a reorganization of the national crypto department and ongoing corruption investigations involving the country’s oil company, PDVSA.
According to local media reports and tweets from Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies, mining facilities were shut down in the states of Lara, Carabobo, and Bolívar. The number of affected crypto firms remains unclear. Some crypto exchanges have also been ordered to cease operations.
The closure of crypto mining facilities is believed to be connected to an ongoing corruption investigation involving PDVSA and the country’s crypto department. On March 25, Venezuela’s attorney general, Tarek William Saab, disclosed that government officials were allegedly running parallel oil operations with the assistance of the national crypto department.
At least 10 people have been arrested in connection with the investigations, including Joselit Ramirez Camacho, who has led the crypto department since 2018. Camacho, responsible for overseeing crypto tax rules and the country’s cryptocurrency PetroDollar (XPD), was arrested on March 17 as part of the investigation. Since June 2020, he has been listed on the United States Most Wanted List.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro declared a restructuring of the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets on March 17th, aiming to shield citizens from the adverse consequences of economic sanctions. This decision highlights the government’s efforts to maintain financial stability amidst external pressures.