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Home » “We’re leaving Venezuela,” say bitcoin miners in the face of regulatory limbo

“We’re leaving Venezuela,” say bitcoin miners in the face of regulatory limbo

Important facts:
  • It has been two and a half months since the nationwide farm blackout and there is no news from Sunacrip.

  • Paraguay has opened its doors to Venezuelans, says that country’s fintech chamber.

Fleeing Venezuela, several bitcoin miners who have decided to leave their country, where the industry is in regulatory limbo two and a half months after the intervention of the National Regulatory Authority for Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip), are resorting to action. .

“This is a disaster,” Manuel Martínez (fake name to protect his identity) told CriptoNoticias. “There are Too much uncertainty about bitcoin mining in Venezuela and the truth is we’re all looking for at least a little stability,” he added.

In March, the hash makers licensed to operate in the country were shut down. This following an order from the National Electric Corporation (Corpoelec) Visit the farms and give the order to stop operationsamid investigations into the Pdvsa-Crypto corruption plot.

“At that moment we were told that they took the action due to Sunacrip’s intervention as there was no clear process for collecting the electricity tariffs as the regulator is responsible for it,” explained another miner, who preferred to speak below the condition of anonymity.

But to date, nearly three months since the massive farm closures, Time is running out for miners who have had to continue to cover their operating costs and await the issuance of an order to resume activities.

The government-appointed Audit Committee is to restructure Sunacrip did not comment. Therefore, it is not known what the status of this process is or when there might be an answer for digital miners.

Some miners speak of six months of darkness for digital mining in Venezuela, while others suspect Sunacrip will disappear. In this case, The uncertainty surrounding all cryptocurrency-related activities will remain on Venezuelan territory.

The exodus of digital miners from Venezuela begins

The bitcoin miners that CriptoNoticias spoke to say there are several farm owners who do this have decided to relocate their activities to other countries where greater stability is currently offered for bitcoin mining.

There is no exact number of how many miners want to emigrate, there is only talk of “several” and these They name Paraguay and El Salvador as target countries.

After considering the alternatives, Manuel Martínez decided that Paraguay will be the country where he will set up his mining farm.

“Paraguay has one of the cheapest electricity rates in Latin America and is a country that has open arms to bitcoin miners, imposing no restrictions or anything like that. And the tax rates of 15% also seem quite attractive to us.”

Manuel Martínez, Bitcoin miner in Venezuela.

He assures that he is in the process of moving his 4,000 KVA farm (kilovolt-ampere) that in Venezuela kept walking 1,800 AntMiner S9 and 200 Whatsminer M20for a total of 2000 ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) or special devices for digital mining.

“I manage foreign capital and the truth is that my clients don’t understand how it is that in Venezuela there are no answers from a digital mining regulator telling us when we can turn it on or what the real event is.” . It is also not known if electricity prices will increase or if farms will close again in the future, and that does not seem fair or legal for a productive industry that creates jobs.

Manuel Martínez, Bitcoin miner in Venezuela.

Paraguay and El Salvador are the most popular travel destinations for Venezuelans

While some Venezuelan miners are awaiting comment from Sunacrip, others are deciding to suspend operations indefinitely. Meanwhile, others are preparing to emigrate.

Paraguay is welcoming bitcoin miners looking to settle in the country, Fernando Arriola, head of the blockchain department at the Paraguayan Chamber of Fintechs, told CriptoNoticias.

“Recently, mining companies have come to Paraguay from the US and Asia, but also from other countriesWe are open to welcoming Venezuelans who wish to settle in our countryArriola explained.

He added that Bitcoin can be mined in Paraguay with peace of mind as the activity is consistent with the country’s energy policy, which promotes an environment of transparency and formality.

The National Energy Administration of Paraguay (Ande) has set the electricity tariffs for bitcoin miners, which currently stand at $0.052 per kWh.

“In our country there are no restrictive measures affecting the operations of miners. We just need a legal framework and we are looking for it because in July we will again present a new bill,” said Arriola.

As some Venezuelan miners look to the Paraguayan side, others say they will contact the El Salvador government with the idea of ​​relocating its infrastructure to the Central American country.

Exactly on June 5, El Salvador announced its plans to boost bitcoin mining in the west of the country, specifically in the municipality of Metapán, Santa Ana.

“One of the largest Bitcoin mining farms in the world” is to be installed there with an initial computing power of more than 1.3 EH/s.

The project is Hope for several Venezuelan miners who are now trying to settle in new areas.

Paraguay is the country with the lowest electricity costs for bitcoin mining after Venezuela. Spring: BBC/YouTube

“It hurts me to leave Venezuela, but I have to save my business”

Manuel Martínez started operating his mining farm with Antminer S9K equipment in 2019.

“First we started testing everything, and some time later a capital of around $100,000 was injected, which we used to buy machines and infrastructure. And so we acquired the first 1,500 KVA transformer in which we installed 400 machines (200 M3 machines and 200 S9 machines), which later gave us a very lucrative return on investment, with which we now have 2,000 machines.”

Manuel Martínez, Venezuelan bitcoin miner.

Martínez says this to show a little how the massive power outage on the farms in Venezuela is affecting him stops making about $16,000 a month just from 100 of its Whatsminer devices. This means that number has tripled considering that licensed mining operations in the country were shut down nearly three months ago.

“In addition, we had to continue paying the rent and everything necessary as if we were still in operation. We were even forced to lay off employees because we had no way of paying them. We regret that these are now families who lack this income as we have paid our workers very well.”

Manuel Martínez, Venezuelan bitcoin miner.

Martínez says he will leave his country in pain, but he is forced to emigrate to save his business. It also shows that the current situation discourages foreign investors, further blocking the possibility of a venture as there are no sources of funding to draw on to support new projects.

There will always be people who are likely to follow Bitcoin mining using cheap electricity in Venezuela. But you also have to keep in mind that there are other costs to pay, such as the fact that there is no legal certainty or any other kind of security in Venezuela, which is why I decided to leave the country,” he stressed.

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