In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost every aspect of our lives, many things have happened in the coding ecosystem around the world. So, what was the last year for cryptocurrencies in Venezuela?

Even before 2020, there were already a number of companies in Venezuela that accepted many cryptocurrencies as a method of payment; Over the past year, however, many more have switched to this payment method. This includes everything from the hotel industry to the popular pizza chain Pizza Hut, and announces that it will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash and other cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

In mid-2020, Cryptobuyer and payment processor Mega Soft announced that they would form an alliance to allow around 20,000 sellers to use their services to accept cryptocurrency payments through the exchange’s Cryptobuyer Pay solution.

Another important milestone came in September 2020 when a Bitcoin node was connected to the Blockstream satellite network – for the first time in Venezuela. As a result of the joint efforts of Cryptobuyer and crypto provider AnibalCripto, the node was launched despite the logistical limitations imposed by COVID-19-related locking measures. Similarly, node administrators announced that this was the first step toward creating an interconnected network that could process bitcoin transactions without requiring an Internet connection.

New rules
Despite the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela, the cryptocurrency industry is growing. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Venezuela is the largest contributor to the bitcoin hash rate from any country in Latin America, which means that the country generates a significant amount of computing power.

In September 2020, however, Venezuela passed a new law targeting the country’s mining industry. In addition to creating a mandatory register and introducing new fees for those working in the mining sectors, a controversial new law “Pool de Minería Digital Nacional” (National Digital Mining Pool) was passed. Under this new requirement, miners will be required to invest their enormous energy in a new government-supported mining complex.

In general, there is still no real clarity regarding the mining basin, which means that it is not really known how the law will be applied, and how exactly Venezuelan miners were involved in this is not revealed.

While it may seem contradictory that this level of government support for cryptocurrencies is often seen as a complete restriction on citizens and their freedom, there have been many experiments with cryptocurrencies over the past year, including plans to make Venezuelans pay for their passports. With bitcoin using payment processor BTCPayServer.

However, while the administration of President Nicolas Maduro has not completed the passport plan, the vision of using cryptocurrency has not been diminished. For example, Maduro proposed an anti-sanction bill in September 2020, which sought to use cryptocurrencies to avoid various fines imposed on the country, and hoped to expand the use of crypto in various commercial transactions.

In particular, there have been reports that the Maduro administration is using bitcoin to facilitate trade between Iran and Turkey, two of the country’s most important geopolitical allies.

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In November 2020, it was also reported that the Venezuelan military had decided to open the Centro de Producción de Activos Digitales del Ejército Bolivariano de Venezuela (Venezuela’s Army Digital Assets Production Center), a center that houses ASIC mining equipment designed to demonstrate cryptocurrencies for generations. can not be opened, “- said the military command that opened the facility.

All the progress the Venezuelan state has made in the cryptocurrency ecosystem has been to find solutions to circumvent the US sanctions imposed on Maduro, his government and senior military personnel.

However, the US government announced that it had control over cryptocurrency transactions in Venezuela, and in June 2020, it added its cryptocurrency advisor – the supreme regulatory body for the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Venezuela – to the desired list of US Immigration and Customs Service. .

Record amount of bolivars reserved in bitcoin
Bitcoin’s bull meeting was accompanied by a rapid weakening of the Venezuelan fiat currency, which led to a record number of bolivars trading bitcoins. In the first week of December 2020 alone, LocalBitcoin’s peer-to-peer exchange platform saw 5.85 billion bolivars on the platform. In the first week of February, the figure jumped to 8.56 billion barrels.

Source: CoinTelegraph