A group of people detained for operating unlicensed Bitcoin miners in Venezuela were released, after the non-provenance of the arrest carried out by police forces days ago was determined.
The Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP), the entity that governs mining in the South American country, went together with personnel of the Public Ministry to intercede for the release of the 6 miners detained in the city of Puerto Ordazin Bolivar state.
This information was confirmed to CriptoNoticias José Ángel Álvarez Mayora, president of the National Association of Cryptocurrencies (ASONACRIP), a non-governmental organization for the promotion of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela. SUNACRIP has not issued any statement or responded to our inquiry on the matter, at the time of writing this article.
Through a statement, the ASONACRIP celebrated the performance of the state entity to achieve the liberation of the miners. In this regard, the organization stressed that digital mining activity is legal in Venezuela and operate miners without a license represents a misdemeanour punishable by finesbut not a crime. I mean, miners can’t be stopped.
Additionally, the statement highlights the fact that no official has the power to stop or interfere in the activities of cryptocurrency miners without the participation or authorization of SUNACRIP, the body in charge of determining the faults in the matter.
This Thursday, July 15, as reported by CriptoNoticias, six people were arrested in Puerto Ordaz, for operating Bitcoin miners without the permits granted by the regulator. In two separate operations, they found a total of 25 unlicensed mining machines, which were also held. It is unknown whether the equipment was returned to its owners or still in the hands of the authorities.
Detentions and detentions of miners in Venezuela
Despite what ASONACRIP has said, it has become a common practice in Venezuela that police or military officials detain people for trading Bitcoin miners, as well as seizing their equipment.
Only this year, we can mention cases in Bolívar, the same entity where this new arrest occurred, Portuguesa, Barinas or Carabobo.
Just a couple of weeks ago, during a meeting sponsored by SUNACRIP, it was determined that police forces could not go to homes for cases of mining without a license, without the presence of officials of the regulatory entity. In addition to the government institution, members of the Carabobo state police, miners and members of the ASONACRIP were present at the meeting, as reported in this newspaper.
Despite the hurdles for miners, Venezuela is one of the countries with the largest foray into Bitcoin mining in the world, even with military agencies having their own mining farms. Studies from the University of Cambridge and the company CoinShares have exposed it.
Bitcoin mining is so deeply rooted in the country that a historical museum about the equipment dedicated to this activity is about to open its doors in the capital, Caracas, this Saturday, July 17.