Police in western Venezuela seized Bitcoin miners at a supposed clandestine crypto-mining center.
A 53-year-old man in western Venezuela was arrested on the grounds of computer crimes after being seized from 37 ASIC miners for Bitcoin, according to the Carababo state police in their official Instagram account on January 12, 2021.
According to the police force, the man whose identity was not made public was captured after a police deployment in the Urbanización El Encanto, Sector El Oasis, Tocuyito parish, adjacent to the city of Valencia in the state of Carabobo, in the west of the country.
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The official The News Spy indicates that the seizure of the machines occurs after an inspection of an open terrain that functions as a parking lot for heavy machinery, a container with the 37 pieces of equipment working at the time of the police operation was located within the boundaries of the building.
The troops noticed the mining of crypto-currencies at the time of the inspection of the site, after hearing „an unusual loud noise“ coming from the container where the mining rig was located without a permit.
The police force states that during the operation a Chevrolet vehicle was seized as well as a blue Soneview CPU, referring the respective case to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The procedure brought almost immediate reactions in the official account of PoliCarabobo, the police agency in charge of the respective procedure. Some users pointed out that the mining of crypto-currencies in Venezuela is legal, while others, such as Asegate_ale, objected to the action, pointing out that the person detained is not responsible, in any event an employee.
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Mining crypto-currencies in Venezuela: legal or illegal?
This is not the first time that arrests have been made for the mining of cryptomoney in Venezuela. Already in Cointelegraph and other specialized media, coverage has been wide on this issue so controversial in the past in the Latin American country, especially in the west of the country.
However, the energy crisis suffered by the South American country, especially in the west of the country, has been the driving force behind the confiscation and arrest of people linked to cryptomint mining, despite the current legal framework that regulates the activity and allows its action.
According to the Superintendence of Cryptoactives and Related Activities „Sunacrip“, the national entity in charge of regulating the sector in Venezuela, the miners may have a license to carry out their activity, which validates the operations of the farm or mining center, under the approval of the national electric company „Corpoelec“.
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Of course, any activity that is not duly registered under the regulatory body will be grounds for action by the bodies in charge of exercising the law until its legality is proven.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, some Venezuelan crypto miners have denounced being subject to cases of extortion that make it difficult for them to exercise their activity within the national territory, as was recognized in the past by the Superintendent of Cryptoactives in Venezuela.
Legal or not, those who live in the country, assure an increase in mining activity within the territory by actors of all types, driven by the upward price cycle that Bitcoin has mainly and by the cheap energy that is available in the country.
In spite of the electrical and internet connection deficiencies, even the Venezuelan army recently signaled to start a national project of crypto-currency mining to make their access to resources independent due to the blocking of foreign accounts motivated by US sanctions on the Venezuelan government.