Maduro Targets Bitcoin Remittance To Profit Off The Country’s Blooming Crypto Ecosystem
Venezuela has been in chaos recently, triggering one of the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. A decade of economic mismanagement has left the formerly prosperous nation starving, lacking basic necessities like food and medicine. As hyperinflation skyrockets to nearly 3 million percent, people are turning to cryptocurrency to stabilize their money.
On March 18, 2019, a redditor from Venezuela who seems to be a bitcoin enthusiast – published a post taking Coppola’s statement from Twitter. Redditor strongly claimed that ‘My whole country didn’t have electricity, all banks were down. Bitcoin was still up.’ The post was quickly explaining the blackout does affect Banks, Debit and Credit cards but doesn’t affect Bitcoin network.
Even Pomp picked up this story and tweeted:
However, despite this and an ongoing economic crisis, the Venezuelan government has launched a cryptocurrency remittance service. The Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip), the main regulator of all crypto activities in Venezuela, announced the launch of the service on its Patria platform last week. The cryptocurrencies that can be used to send [remittances] are bitcoin and litecoin.
The terms and conditions page of the Venezuelan government’s remittance website states that “To be a recipient of crypto remittances, the natural person must be registered with the Patria platform, be of legal age and reside in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” Senders, however, can be outside of Venezuela.
This move clearly shows the government’s desires to profit from the growing BTC remittance market in the country. The launch of the BTC remittance platform is in a way an effort by the current president of the country to surpass the US sanctions and also to circumvent the opposition on the other hand. This platform will be regulated by Venezuela’s crypto regulator Superintendency of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) and will be run by Patria.
They ask 15 percent fees on crypto remittance transactions. A monthly cap on transactions of approx. $600 was introduced. This may be increased to 3K U.S Dollars if further authorization is allowed.
The service can be disabled at any moment if it doesn’t meet enough funds in bolivars. It will apply a fluctuating commission which will be updated every 24 hours. These features meet a completion through another popular peer-to-peer platform- ‘LocalBitcoins.’ On this platform, users are already sending BTC and LTC coins and that too at a much lower price. The volume of Bitcoin trading in Venezuela on LocalBitcoins can be seen in the chart below. The country now records trades well over 1.8k bitcoins in a week.