Venezuelan minister bans crypto mining in state-owned housing

Written by: Ali Raza
July 18, 2020
  • Venezuela decided to ban cryptocurrency mining in state-owned housing and neighborhoods.
  • The decision allegedly comes due to mining's high electricity consumption.
  • The country had issues with its electricity system for a long time, especially after the nation-wide blackout.

Venezuela is once again making the news due to its new decision in regards to cryptocurrency. This time, the country’s Minister of Habitat and Housing, Ildemaro Villarroel, announced that mining will be baned in any state-owned housing, and even entire neighborhoods.

No more crypto mining in state-owned housing

According to Villarroel, the new decision comes as part of the Great Home Mission (Gran Mision Vivienda) project. This is a project that the country’s government came up with, with the goal of providing housing to low-income citizens.

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As many are likely aware, Venezuela is suffering a long-lasting financial crisis, during which the country’s national currency, the bolivar, became practically worthless due to hyperinflation.

The country attempted to battle sanctions and inflation alike by developing its own cryptocurrency, the oil-backed Petro. However, Petro did not impress Venezuelans, who did switch to crypto, but mostly went for Bitcoin and a handful of major altcoins.

The minister revealed the new rule a few days ago, in a public speech. He said that no crypto mining equipment will be allowed in public housing, as it requires too much power. As such, it violates the electrical supply policy of the country.

According to him, cryptocurrency mining is too harmful for the carefully balanced distribution of the country’s power supply.

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Venezuela neglected to fix its electricity issues

The measure has already encountered a lot of criticism, mostly on social media. Many noted that Venezuela neglected to improve the electric supply system when it had the chance, despite the issue being present for a long time.

The problems with electricity were felt the most during an electrical shutdown that affected the entire nation in 2019. Since then, it was a major topic of discussion within the nation.

Whether or not the explanation is true, or if it is just another way of trying to prevent citizens from getting their hands on coins other than Petro, remains unknown. The country has a long record of coming up with unusual solutions to try and force people to use their native crypto. For now, the fact is that mining will be forbidden in any state-owned neighborhood.