Venezuela Moves to Ban Cryptocurrency Mining Amid Power Concerns

The Venezuelan government has joined the growing list of countries clamping down on cryptocurrency mining due to its significant electricity demands. Venezuela’s Ministry of Electric Power has announced plans to disconnect cryptocurrency mining farms from the national grid, aiming to regulate excessive energy consumption and ensure a stable power supply for the population.

An announcement from Venezuela’s National Association of Cryptocurrencies on X stated that crypto mining is now prohibited in the country. This development follows a recent crackdown where authorities confiscated 2,000 cryptocurrency mining devices in Maracay as part of an anti-corruption initiative.

The ministry emphasized that these measures are crucial to provide efficient and reliable electrical service across Venezuela, which has faced recurring blackouts, particularly since 2019. These power outages have severely impacted residents’ daily lives and the country’s overall economic activity. By eliminating the strain caused by high-energy-consuming mining farms, officials aim to stabilize the national power supply, which has been unreliable for the past decade.

This move is part of a larger anti-corruption push that has led to the arrest of several top officials. Joselit Ramírez, the ex-head of the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets, is a key figure in the corruption allegations. The crackdown on cryptocurrency mining also aligns with actions taken in March 2023, when Venezuela’s energy supplier shut down mining facilities nationwide amid corruption investigations involving the state oil company.

Rafael Lacava, governor of Carabobo state, has highlighted the importance of public collaboration in detecting illegal mining operations, encouraging citizens to report any unlawful activities.

The Venezuelan government’s stance on cryptocurrency mining mirrors actions taken by other countries like China and Kazakhstan, which have implemented stringent regulations or outright bans due to the high electricity consumption associated with the practice. In Kazakhstan, major cryptocurrency mining operators have voiced concerns over high energy prices in an open letter to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.