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Venezuela’s New Crypto Bill Now Law, but for How Long?

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Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency legal framework originally introduced by the country’s Constituent National Assembly came into force on 31 January. But will it last?

The question now remains how long will the legislation hold in its current form due to civil unrest, and most importantly a possible change of power; one which could introduce a path to a more liberal attitude toward cryptocurrencies if Juan Guaidó‘s pro-crypto stance is translated into action.

While Maduro hopes Trump’s threat of intervention doesn’t force a change of leadership in Venezuela, current legislation remains in place. The new Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets being one, sets a new set of rules for miners, crypto entrepreneurs, and regular traders.

The bill essentially outlines that all these operators must be licensed and those who operate without approval will be fined. It also defines crypto terms and confirms that national crypto watchdog Sunacrip will now monitor all cryptocurrency activity with a view to controlling “creation, emission, transfer, commercialization and exchange” within the space.

The registration procedures for crypto exchanges, wallets, and mining entities are outlined in the latest document and introduces the concept of several types of licenses, which would be issued according to different types of managed assets. Penalties for violation of regulations could incur prison terms up to three years and fines between USD 3,000 to USD 6,000.

Regarding mining, the new law permits Sunacrip to inspect mining companies and also confiscate equipment. The hardware would then be used for “social purposes”, although it is unclear exactly what this means. The new laws regulating the industry could be short-lived if Maduro begins to lose his hold on power, an outcome being predicted by many countries around the globe who have openly backed a Guaidó-led new government.


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