Venezuela is blocking access to currency exchange platforms, reported a digital rights advocacy group of the country.
According to VE Inteligente, the government under President Nicolas Maduro is not allowing its citizens to access the US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the remittance platform MercaDolar. They stated,
“This internet block is applied by most mainstream ISPs in VE using DNS_block. Exact motivations for this block are still unclear.”
This is not the first time that such a move has been made by the government. Crypto exchanges have been blocked in the past, which recently got uplifted.
The group also shared that last month, “all ISPs blocked airtm, a Mexican fin-tech that was selected to distribute the financial aid to healthcare workers in the HeroesDeLaSalud program,” which was a direct assistance program organized by opposition to Nicolas Maduro.
The government also blocked access to major VPNs Tunnelbear and Psiphon a few days back. Last year, YouTube, Periscope, and Bing were blocked, and in 2018, access to the Tor network was not allowed.
The country is going through the crisis of hyperinflation that has made bitcoin and stablecoins a favorite among its citizens. Besides the fiat currency collapse, the country is also engulfed with a political crisis after Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last year.
He is now inviting the military leaders to a “unity pact” of opposition forces to support a boycott of the country’s legislative elections on December 6 and increase international pressure on Maduro.