Last week on 30th of Jan, MIPPCI- ‘Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information’ of Venezuela published ‘Gaceta Oficial’, (an official gazette) describing the new rules around the crypto activities within the country. This publication covered several topics such as ‘Blockchain rules, Mining rules, Cryptoactive, Users, Public Price, Crypto Assets’ and so on. With respect to Blockchain new regulations, it basically talked about the ‘Structure of the Integral System of the Cryptoactives.’
The businesses that are working with crypto assets, cryptocurrencies will now need to register with Sunacrip (Venezuelan superintendence of crypto-related activities), as per the new rules published by the ministry. Any failure of the registration will invite a penalty of an amount ranging from 100 to 300 Petros (Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency.) The published official gazette states as-
“Article 5. For the purposes of this Constituent Decree, it is understood as:
- Blockchain: Distributed database and supported on cryptographic principles that allow registering transactions digitally and share information, through a network between pairs in an immutable and transparent way.
- Digital Mining: Activity by which capacity is provided computation and storage to a distributed network.
- Cryptoactive: Digital asset that uses cryptography and records distributed as a basis for its operation.
- User or User: Natural or legal person, public or private, who in the terms established in this Constituent Decree, acquires or uses, products or services based on cryptoactives or in their related technologies.
- Public Price: The economic estimate derived from the costs associated with the activities of this Superintendency, which will be honored by the users and users receiving them.”
The new changes in the crypto sphere regulations of the country will be implemented by Sunacrip and along the same lines, it will affect the businesses. The powers and the responsibility given to Sunacrip has made it a central authority in terms of importance in the country. Sunacrip will look after everyday activities and adherence to the rules as well as the execution of plans and programs at an administrative level.
As per the reports obtained from Coindesk, the decree published an exhaustive list of 63 articles. These articles started from defining the crypto terminologies, the remit of Sunacrip, the registration process for the businesses, requirements for the audits, fines and penalties based on any failure in rule compliance, or for any criminal activity and so on. Sunacrip will be carrying out inspections in the crypto related companies. It will also audit them from time to time, and simultaneously can take away their licenses in case there is any failure to the rules compliance or in cases where there is any probable danger or the risk for the public. Those companies who will not adhere to the new rules and regulations will have to face imprisonment ranging from 1 to 3 years based on the individual case’s depth. A penalty equal to 50 to 100 Petros will also be incurred by the guilty. According to CoinDesk- ‘Mining rigs can also be seized with the agency retaining the equipment.’ The official gazette further explained-
“Article 6. The Integral System of Cryptoactives is made up of the set of principles, rules and procedures, applied to the natural and legal persons, institutions or public organizations and private, as well as Communal Councils, Communes and other forms organized groups of the Popular Power that together interact for the objective of ensuring the incorporation of cryptoactive substances and associated technologies in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Article 7. Without prejudice to other organizational forms that may be created, in the judgment of the governing body should be part of it, the System Integral of Cryptoactives, will have the interrelated action and
A synergy of the National Superintendence of Cryptoactives and Activities Related (SUNACRIP), to which the rectory of the same will correspond; the Treasury of Cryptoactives of Venezuela, S.A., Houses of Exchange,
BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA NATIONAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY natural and legal persons, public or private, as well as the Power Popular, organized, which is linked directly or indirectly with the matter of cryptoactives.”
Last year in February, Daniel Arraez of Blink Trade remarked on the country’s restrictions on the number of crypto exchanges that will be permitted to function in Venezuela. Arraez said-
“We feel the current regulation change is a positive change. […] We are already in conversations to operate as soon as possible if we feel the market is going to be safe and we can get operational guarantees to safeguard our customers’ funds and safety.”
The country makes a special place in the face of a global crypto landscape because it is has launched a national cryptocurrency. However, in March last year, U.S. president- Donald Trump ordered sanctions against Petro. He said-
“All transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018, are prohibited as of the effective date of this order.”
After this, the president of Venezuela- Nicolas Maduro has been pushing to make Petro- the national cryptocurrency to be accepted locally as well as on an international level. On the other hand, last year in December, according to sate run media- TeleSUR, the president of Venezuela announced-
“In 2019, we have a schedule for oil to be sold in Petros and in this way continue to free us from a currency that elite of Washington uses.”
According to the CryptoNewZ, the country has been trying hard to push the cryptocurrency not only within Venezuela but outside its borders too. There are endeavors for presenting the oil-backed cryptocurrency as a “unit of account for oil” to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.) For instance- the government of Venezuela is ready to offer India a discount of 30 percent on oil in lieu of payment done in the cryptocurrency. In addition to this, banks of the country are ordered to use Petro. Also the government f the country have started to sell the token to its citizens through a government portal.