According to media reports, crypto entities are supposed to be inactive in Venezuela until further notice. Sources reveal the authorities of Venezuela have urged miners and exchanges to remain shut as they investigate a multi-billion corruption case.
In its recent coverage, Forbes suggested that Venezuelan authorities have ordered local Bitcoin miners to temporarily halt operations while inspecting a major corruption scheme that could have drained up to $20 billion. It is estimated that between $3 billion and $20 billion are missing from Petróleos de Venezuela – a state-owned oil and natural gas company and the world’s fifth-largest exporter of hydrocarbons.
Additionally, investigators have accused some of the leaders of President Maduro’s political movement (known as Chavismo) of being involved in the malicious scheme.
As Todayq News reported, the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP) stands at the center of the process since it played a role in liquidating sales following the US sanctions against the company.
It was also one of the main agencies concerned with all types of energy usage and Bitcoin mining. The authorities have also required other cryptocurrency businesses, including exchanges and payment platforms with SUNACRIP licenses, to cease operations as long as the investigations continue.
In addition, users on social media platforms have revealed that the National Anticorruption Police had started inspecting domestic Bitcoin mining firms to find any links between them and the corruption leaks in the energy sector. Law enforcement agents have also checked whether miners have the necessary authorization and up-to-date documentation to operate in the country.
It is worth noting that many of those licenses were issued by Joselit Ramírez (Chairman of SUNACRIP) and Rajiv Mosqueda (head of digital mining operations at SUNACRIP). Currently, both of them are under custody for allegedly participating in a scheme to steal from the country’s energy affairs.
Unfortunately, currently, it remains unknown when Venezuelan crypto entities can resume their operations or for how long the investigation will last. Some believe that the Venezuelan president might restructure SUNACRIP or bring into the picture a completely new regulatory agency.
As the reports say this corruption incident has taken the entire nation by shock calling for immediate action from the authorities. Towards the end of last month, the authorities arrested twenty-one individuals. Amongst the arrested individuals, eleven were businessmen, while the remaining ten were government officials. Additionally, the Venezuelan government had released 11 more arrest warrants alleging the targeted individuals of participating in the same scheme.
While Venezuela was moving towards cryptocurrencies at its own pace, its dwindling economy forced it to be cautious in its approach. In December, Todayq News reported that banks in Venezuela have been paying closer attention to accounts that frequently participated in crypto transactions.
At that time, more than 75 cases of accounts have been stopped or are under investigation that has been registered since the end of 2021. Hence, the restructuring of the crypto regulatory body at such a time could play a crucial role in the future of cryptocurrencies in the nation which can only be found eventually.