In a recent development, sources familiar with the matter said that all established cryptocurrency exchanges in Venezuela are planning to close permanently.
The order was reportedly issued by Sunacrip, the country’s official cryptocurrency regulator. While this has not been confirmed, the Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Association suggested that such operations have taken place within the country as part of an ongoing anti-corruption case.
Jose Angel Alvarez, president of Asonacrip, explained in a recent interview, “We believe that private companies should not be blamed for the internal affairs of regulators, and that we should facilitate the full activation (in the country) of all cryptocurrency businesses. We are preparing a List of proposals, presented to Drs Sunacrip and Anabel Pereira.”
However, the CEO of Venezuelan cryptocurrency buyer Eleazar Colmenares issued a statement saying that Sunacrip did not order any cryptocurrency exchanges to shut down, making it difficult to determine who was telling the truth.
The Venezuelan government’s cryptocurrency initiative was launched in 2018 as a means of circumventing U.S. sanctions that limit the country’s access to the global financial system.
Cryptocurrency exchanges were subsequently established to facilitate the buying and selling of digital assets. The government has since been accused of using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions, launder money and facilitate corruption.
Despite the controversial nature of the country’s cryptocurrency plans, many Venezuelan citizens have embraced it as an alternative to the country’s inflation-ridden fiat currency.
Venezuela may close all cryptocurrency exchanges, raising concerns among citizens who rely on digital assets as a means of survival. Many are concerned about the impact of the government’s anti-corruption campaign, which could bring all cryptocurrency-related activities to a halt in the country.