Cryptocurrencies

Profitable … but dangerous! – Cryptocurrencies

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Evolving in a country hit hard by the persistent economic crisis, the Venezuelans try as best they can to carry out activities to survive on a daily basis. And if the government multiplies initiatives to promote its local cryptocurrency the Petro, it is Bitcoin that attracts the locals. They see it as the perfect way to store value while the local currency continues to depreciate. This trend has also allowed some of them to embark on bitcoin mining due to the favorable conditions for this activity in the country. However, mining Bitcoin even if it is profitable – including with minor aging Antminer S9 – suffers from the many hazards linked in particular to rampant corruption. Latest hazards experienced by local bitcoin miners: the seizure of more than 300 mining machines for lack of authorization.

Seizure made during a routine check

The news, which was proudly shared by the country’s National Guard via a tweet on July 6, immediately caused panic in the community of local miners.

Venezuelan army Tweet postponing the seizure of Bitcoin miners

The tweet specifies that these are 315 bitcoin mining machines loaded into a truck that were confiscated. The reason mentioned is nothing else that the absence of documents justifying the presence of the material on Venezuelan soil and its use. All the goods, 315 Antminer S9 Bitmain, should indeed have been accompanied by a document issued by the Sunacrip.

Sunacrip is nothing less than the authority responsible for regulating cryptocurrency activities in the country. The tweet also states that the seizure was made during a routine check at a toll station located in Guayana. When the truck was checked, the driver was asked to produce the machinery documents. Faced with its inability to do so, the military had no choice but to seize the 315 Antminer S9 Bitmain and inform the Sunacrip.

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Bitcoin mining: profitable, but underdeveloped activity in Venezuela

If bitcoin mining is more and more considered by the inhabitants of the country, it is because favorable conditions on site. Venezuela is above all known as a country rich in minerals and which has significant quantities of crude oil. It’s also one of the few country offering some of the lowest electricity rates in the world to its population. When we know that this factor is determining at a time when bitcoin mining is becoming more and more strategic, we understand the attempts of local miners.

However, bitcoin mining is legal in the country regardless of the obligation to register with the authorities. This is precisely what adds difficulty for those who exercise the profession because of endemic corruption which undermines – that’s the case to say – Venezuelan administration. The few entrepreneurs who agree to register become easy targets for criminals. All these hazards are bitcoin mining a lucrative but largely clandestine activity in Venezuela.

Although this news, coupled with the difficulties previously mentioned, may increase the fears of local miners, they should not easily give up. Indeed, the huge reward from bitcoin mining (on the scale of the local standard of living) constitutes sufficient motivation to brave the dangers.

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