Despite the political chaos in Venezuela, the government has issued a decree that establishes a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the country. The decree was published in the government’s official media outlet, Gaceta Oficial.
The elaborate decree, consisting 63 articles, has set rules for the purchase, sale, use, distribution, and exchange of cryptocurrencies and related products. It also establishes obligatory licences for mining entities and crypto exchanges, and introduces fines for unlicensed activities. It makes a registration system mandatory.
The Sunacrip, a national crypto watchdog established last year, will inspect all crypto-related activities within the country. Article 11 states that the body should monitor digital miners, exchanges and other financial services that could serve as intermediaries in Venezuela’s crypto market.
According to the decree, Sunacrip will have more power to regulate than before, stating that Sudacrip will have the authority to “exercise the broadest powers within the legal and constitutional framework, to regulate the creation, issuance, organization, operation and use of crypto assets, and consequently, to regulate the operation of the exchange houses and other crypto asset financial services, as well as activities associated with digital mining”.
In addition, individuals and legal entities wanting to carry out crypto-related activities, including mining, are required to register with Sunacrip.
Failing To Comply To Venezuela Cryptocurrency Rules Could Mean Prison
Article 34 of the decree details how Sunacrip will inspect the activities in the cryptocurrency sector to ensure compliance. According to article 37, if there are any signs of non-compliance during an inspection, measures will be taken to prevent further violations. These measures may consist of the confiscation of any mining equipment found, and the “suspension of licenses, permits or authorizations” issued, as well as the suspension of “any other provision in the legal system to prevent the violation of the rights of citizens.”
The Spanish-language crypto outlet Criptonoticias reported that this decree gives Sunacrip the ability to control any crypto commercial platform in the country, be it local or international, centralized or decentralized.
Should any crypto-related company breach the licensing rules or fail to correctly register with Sunacrip, its owners can be punished with one to three years in prison, and fined $3000 to $6000.
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