Authorities detained more than 400 Bitcoin miners in Venezuela this weekend and conducted two major confiscations. Local reports show that military personnel seized 332 miners from a transport truck. In another procedure, the authorities arrested 72 miners hiding in a house. These activities led to the arrest of four people. Mining in Venezuela is completely legal, but requires Sunacrip’s permit and license.
More than 400 miners were detained
Venezuelan authorities seized more than 400 mining machines in two separate incidents last weekend. First, 332 miners were seized at a controlled checkpoint in the Portuguese state: 56 Inosilicon T2, 136 Antminer S9J-14.5T and 140 Aladdinminer. These miners are being transported by truck from one city to another. The authorities also arrested trucks carrying cargo.
In another incident, the authorities seized 72 miners hiding in a house in Barinas State. The military personnel captured the three people present at the time. The report stated that all the detained miners were found to belong to a criminal organization. The detained miner now owns Sunacrip, Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency regulator.
This is not the first time such a large-scale seizure has occurred in the country. Five months ago, the authorities also seized 499 Bitcoin miners in Barinas State. Due to inconsistent documents, military personnel detained a further 76 miners in April last year.
Lack of licenses and permits
Although Venezuela has horror stories about Bitcoin mining, the activity is technically legal. However, this does not mean that the police and the army get along well with the miners.
According to reports from the authorities, the miners lacked the permits needed to operate these machines and transport them. The national cryptocurrency regulator Sunacrip issues these licenses, and miners need to register their activities and machines with the organization.
Nevertheless, some miners prefer to go underground without a permit to avoid government supervision. In some mining communities, there is still a lack of confidence in institutions, which prevents them from registering to remain anonymous. Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that most miners still do not have these licenses and are prone to these regulatory issues.
Since Venezuela launched the first national cryptocurrency, Petro, the Nicolas Maduro government is trying to show a friendly attitude towards cryptocurrencies. But in terms of mining of the equation, some miners are still hesitant to openly operate the idea.
What do you think of the mining equipment recently seized in Venezuela? Tell us in the comments section below.
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