A group of people arrested for operating Bitcoin miners without a license in Venezuela were released, after the non-origin of the arrest carried out by police forces days ago was determined.
The Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP), the entity that governs mining in the South American country, attended together with Public Ministry personnel to intercede for the release of the 6 miners detained in the city of Puerto Ordaz, in the state of Bolívar.
This information was confirmed to CriptoNoticias by José Ángel Álvarez Mayora, president of the National Association of Cryptocurrencies (ASONACRIP), a non-governmental organization for the promotion of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela. SUNACRIP has not issued any statement or responded to our query on the matter, at the time of writing this article.
Through a statement, ASONACRIP celebrated the action of the state entity to achieve the release of the miners. In this regard, the organization stressed that digital mining activity is legal in Venezuela and operate miners without a license represents an offense punishable by fines, but not a crime. In other words, the miners cannot be detained.
Additionally, the statement highlights the fact that no official has the power to stop or interfere in activities of cryptocurrency miners without the participation or authorization of SUNACRIP, the entity in charge of determining faults in the matter.
This Thursday, July 15, as reported by CriptoNoticias, six people were arrested in Puerto Ordaz, for operating Bitcoin miners without the permits granted by the regulatory body. In two separate operations they found a total of 25 mining machines without a license, which were also detained. It is unknown if the equipment was returned to its owners. or they remain in the power of the authorities.
Detentions and retention of miners in Venezuela
Despite the statements made by ASONACRIP, in Venezuela it has become a common practice that police or military officials arrest people for dealing with Bitcoin miners, in addition to seizing their equipment.
Only this year, we can mention cases in Bolívar, the same entity where this new arrest occurred, Portuguesa, Barinas or Carabobo.
Just a couple of weeks ago, during a meeting sponsored by SUNACRIP it was determined that the police forces could not go to homes for cases of mining without a license, without the presence of officials from the regulatory body. In that meeting were, in addition to the government institution, members of the Carabobo state police, miners and members of ASONACRIP, as this newspaper reported.
The practice of detaining Bitcoin miners has become common in Venezuela. Source: PoliCarabobo.
Despite the obstacles for miners, Venezuela is one of the countries with the largest foray into Bitcoin mining in the world, even with military organizations having their own mining farms. Studies from the University of Cambridge and the company CoinShares have exposed it.
Bitcoin mining is so deeply rooted in the country that a historical museum about the equipment dedicated to this activity is about to open its doors in the capital, Caracas, this Saturday, July 17.