Venezuela bans crypto mining to protect power grid

This move follows a recent crackdown that involved confiscating 2,000 cryptocurrency mining devices as part of an anti-corruption initiative.

The Venezuelan government has joined the list of countries that have frowned on crypto mining due to its hefty electricity demands.

According to a local news outlet, Venezuela’s Ministry of Electric Power (MPPPE) has unveiled plans to disconnect cryptocurrency mining farms from the national grid. The move aims to regulate excessive energy consumption and guarantee a stable power supply for the population.

An X post from Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies stated that crypto mining is prohibited throughout Venezuela. The move prioritizes energy stability over the burgeoning crypto-mining industry.

This move follows a recent crackdown that involved confiscating 2,000 cryptocurrency mining devices in Maracay, Aragua state, about 120 kilometers southwest of Caracas, as part of an anti-corruption initiative.

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Source: Asociación Nacional de Criptomonedas

The Ministry emphasized the need to offer efficient and reliable electrical service across Venezuela by eliminating the strain caused by these high-energy-consuming farms. According to officials, these measures are essential to stabilize the national power supply, which has been unreliable for the past decade.

The country has experienced recurring blackouts, particularly since 2019, significantly impacting residents’ daily lives and the overall economic performance.

Cryptocurrency mining is infamous worldwide for its hefty electricity demands. In response, countries such as China and Kazakhstan have implemented stringent regulations or outright prohibitions on the practice to safeguard their power infrastructure and prioritize energy allocation to vital public services.

The government’s move against cryptocurrency mining is reportedly part of a larger anti-corruption push, leading to several top officials’ arrests. Joselit Ramírez, the ex-head of the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets (Sunacrip), is a key figure in these corruption allegations.

Rafael Lacava, Governor of Carabobo state, has reportedly emphasized the importance of public collaboration in detecting illegal mining operations. He encouraged citizens to come forward and report any unlawful activities, stressing the vital role that community involvement plays in protecting the reliability of their electricity supply.

However, this is not Venezuela’s first act against crypto mining activities. In March 2023, Venezuela’s energy supplier shut down crypto mining facilities nationwide to reorganize the national crypto department and corruption investigations involving the country’s oil company.

Venezuela’s attorney general, Tarek William Saab, disclosed that government officials were allegedly running parallel oil operations with the assistance of the national crypto department.

Last year, eight major cryptocurrency mining operators in Kazakhstan signed an open letter to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, complaining about the high energy prices for miners.

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