Venezuela Ramps Up Its “Bitcoin Friendly” Approach With More BTC Remittance Options
Venezuela is set to integrate Bitcoin into the nationally run Patria’s Cryptocurrency Remittance Platform as its pro-Bitcoin facade gathers pace.
Authorities in the country say the update of the Patria Platform will enable Venezuelan citizens to formally send and receive remittances in Bitcoin, Litecoin and the state run Petro.
With this introduction an uptick in Bitcoin volume is likely in the South American country, but can Venezuelans trust anything run by the government?
The news comes just weeks after Caracas passed laws to legalize Bitcoin mining, just months after criminalizing it, so what’s really going on there?
Is The Venezuelan Government Really Bitcoin Friendly?
Venezuela already ranks third on the list of countries with the highest crypto usage. Now, with the introduction of Bitcoin and Litecoin into the Patria Platform, and the legalization of Bitcoin mining, it could lead to an uptick in Bitcoin volume and adoption.
In the announcement released by the Caracas, the government are clear that they expect the failed Petro shitcoin to gain widespread adoption in the country.
When you consider the fact that Bitcoin usage in the country is already high, is the introduction of BTC/Petro pairings on a state run platform for the benefit of the people or the government.
The announcement reveals the government’s plan to introduce ‘commission and fees for exchange and remittances,’ but there is no date set for the integration.
However, the news plays into the “Bitcoin friendly” narrative that has been coming from Caracas. Whether it is or not, many believe it’s an attempt to skirt around US sanctions.
The announcement never mentioned anything to do with the code being open source, so the obvious worry is whether to trust a platform designed and run by a failing state and corrupt officials.
It’s not clear whether the platform has already undergone a beta testing phase. However, according to the announcement, updates to the Patria Platform will be released slowly for testing, and further updates will be rolled out over the course of a few days.
Is The Venezuelan Government Trying To Communize Bitcoin Mining?
Nobody really knows what to make of Venezuelan policy on anything. And with Bitcoin and the crypto economy, it has an extra sketchy history.
President Maduro launched the state run shitcoin, Petro, which has ultimately flopped, while Bitcoin adoption has grown rapidly.
Then the government banned Bitcoin mining before legalizing it after creating the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip).
The government agency then released a decree detailing the new regulations, which states all entities interested in legally mining Bitcoin must apply for a licence.
It’s expected that the decree will result in the creation of a National Digital Mining Pool (NDMP), a body that is likely to oversee all mining in the country.
However, the decree does state that the authorities will have full access to any mining equipment if any individual or corporate entity chooses to mine Bitcoin.
‘The authorities will supervise both the creation and importation of mining equipment,’ says a Sunacrip Spokesperson. ‘Similarly, mining farms for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be able to operate with the support of the State, but only if they are inspected by Sunacrip.’
Venezuela Appears To Be Bitcoin Friendly, But Is There A Hidden Agenda?
Venezuela appears to be making the right moves and on the surface looks Bitcoin friendly. However, as with anything the socialist government there does, it must be questioned.
More ways for Venezuelans to buy Bitcoin is obviously a positive. However, the state run platform will unlikely be trusted by the people.
Maduro and his cronies have a tarnished reputation, and have tried to push the unwanted Petro onto their people. That was rejected, but they still try.
They also ban and legalize Bitcoin mining in the space of a few months.
Venezuelans get heavily subsidized energy, and some might say the government shouldn’t pay for it without some sort of control. But is the government’s intention to earn back the costs for the electricity or to confiscate its people’s Bitcoin. I fear the latter.
Either way, Bitcoin adoption is rocketing in Venezuela, and the people there will continue to buy Bitcoin without the government controlling everything they do.
Autor: Tommy Limpitlaw
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A Bitcoiner since 2017 and a Bitcoin Maximalist since 2018, Tommy is our main writer and editor at Bitcoin Maximalist. Other than researching and writing about Bitcoin, Tommy loves spending time with his family and supporting his beloved Leeds United.