Venezuela Shuts Down Crypto Mining Operations

Venezuela, a country known for its volatile political climate, has recently made headlines for shutting down several crypto mining facilities throughout the country. According to reports from local media outlets and tweets from Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies, mining operations were ceased in the states of Lara, Carabobo, and Bolívar in the past few days. Although it is unclear how many crypto firms were affected by the shutdown, several crypto exchanges were also ordered to cease their operations.

The closure of crypto mining facilities is believed to be part of an ongoing investigation into corruption involving Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), and the country’s national crypto department. The Venezuelan government has been grappling with the financial crisis and hyperinflation, leading many to turn to cryptocurrencies as a more stable investment option. However, the mining of cryptocurrencies requires a significant amount of energy, which is often subsidized by the government. As a result, the shutdown of crypto mining facilities could be seen as a way to conserve energy and resources amidst Venezuela’s financial struggles.

Additionally, the corruption investigation involving PDVSA and the national crypto department has been ongoing for several years. PDVSA has been accused of embezzlement and money laundering, with the country’s former oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, at the center of the investigation. The national crypto department, which was created in 2018 to oversee the country’s cryptocurrency operations, has also been under scrutiny for alleged corruption and mismanagement of funds.

The shutdown of crypto mining operations in Venezuela has raised concerns among crypto investors and traders, who are now questioning the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies. While some experts believe that the shutdown is simply a way to conserve energy and resources, others believe that it is part of a larger crackdown on cryptocurrencies in the country. The Venezuelan government has been known to take drastic measures to control the country’s economy, including imposing strict capital controls and devaluing the country’s currency.

In conclusion, the shutdown of crypto mining operations in Venezuela is just one of many challenges facing the country’s cryptocurrency industry. The ongoing corruption investigation involving PDVSA and the national crypto department, coupled with the country’s economic struggles, has created an uncertain future for cryptocurrencies in Venezuela. It remains to be seen how the government will navigate these challenges and what impact they will have on the country’s crypto industry.


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Alex Gladstein Fights Government Corruption

Alex Gladstein, an advocate for Bitcoin as well as the chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, is of the opinion that the cryptocurrency helps mend democracies that are broken and combats government corruption by limiting the capacity of governments to influence the citizens of their respective countries. In other words, Bitcoin makes it more difficult for governments to manipulate the citizens of their respective countries. Bitcoin, in other words, makes it harder for governments to control the people living in their different nations by making it more difficult for them to do so.

During an interview that took place on the 20th of February, Gladstein expressed his belief that the decentralized nature of Bitcoin (BTC) may serve as a defense mechanism against tyranny and corruption. This conversation took place in the United States of America, which served as the location.

“I do feel that it is very simply related to fiat money, and I do think that Bitcoin answers this in some way,” he added. “I do think that Bitcoin answers this in some manner.” “In my opinion, there is a very clear connection between what you’re describing and fiat money,” you said. I have no doubt that Bitcoin will, in some fashion, figure out a method to overcome this obstacle. The author makes the claim that he thinks “I do feel that the use of fiat money is very simply tied to the decline of democracy in those countries,” and he is certain that this is the case.

Since 2007, Gladstein has been working at HRF, a charitable non-profit organization, in which capacity he has held the position of chief strategy officer. The Human Rights Foundation is referred to by its abbreviation, HRF. The mission of the organization is to advance and protect human rights all throughout the globe, with a particular emphasis on countries in which the population suffers “under authoritarian tyranny.”

It is stated in Gladstein’s profile that he often participates in events that are organized by Singularity University. During these occasions, he also gives speeches on topics such as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the development of future monetary systems.


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Puerto Rico wants to combat corruption with blockchain technology

Following another corruption scandal, the government of Puerto Rico is reportedly seeking to improve its anti-corruption efforts by adopting blockchain technology.

Puerto Rican House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernandez announced that lawmakers will hold meetings with local blockchain enthusiasts this month to discuss the potential adoption of blockchain technology to reduce corruption.

The implementation of blockchain and smart contracts could bring more transparency and accountability to the public sector, the official said at a Puerto Rico Blockchain Trade Association conference, Bloomberg reported on Dec. 6.

“We have a real credibility problem and this might be part of the solution,” Hernandez said, adding that there is also a broader effort to make Puerto Rico a hub for crypto and blockchain innovation. According to the official, the emerging industry could be a way for the bankrupt commonwealth to revive its economy.

“Back in the 60s and 70s we had the niche of manufacturing. […] This is a new niche, a new opportunity to create jobs,” Hernandez said.

The speaker’s comments came amid growing corruption concerns in Puerto Rico as a local mayor reportedly pleaded guilty to accepting more than $100,000 of bribes in cash last week.

Puerto Rico is not alone in exploring the potential anti-corruption capabilities of technologies like blockchain and digital currency. Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark reported on blockchain’s potential to fight administrative and political corruption. The United Nations’ drugs and crime agency also advised Kenya to use blockchain to combat government corruption in November 2020.

Related: Gibraltar’s government plans to bridge the gap between public and private sectors with blockchain

While multiple jurisdictions are looking at cryptocurrencies’ underlying technology as a tool to cut corruption, some governments like Russia prohibit its deputies and officials from holding crypto, citing corruption concerns.

One of the world’s most corrupt countries, Russia could in fact use crypto to reduce corruption, according to Maria Agranovskaya, a legal attorney and fintech expert in the Russian State Duma. Agranovskaya told Cointelegraph that cash is way more popular for illegal activity like corruption because it’s more difficult to trace:

“If you convey proper KYC and AML at the start, crypto flows can be much more easy to trace, only proper rules of the game should be in place.”