Venezuela's Central Bank Could Soon Add Bitcoin and Ether to Its Reserves

The central bank of Venezuela is reportedly running test to find out whether it can add bitcoin and ether to its international reserves.

According to a report published by Bloomberg, the country’s state-owned oil and natural gas company  Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has asked the central bank to pay some of its supplier on its behalf using the cryptocurrencies. The report cites people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

How the PDVSA has obtained bitcoin and ether, the report reads, is unclear. As the country has been under U.S. sanctions it has been struggling to do business with various clients and is somewhat cut off from the global financial system. Venezuela has been digging into its reserves while dealing with hyperinflation, but they’re coming to a three-decade low at $7.9 billion.

PDVSA may not be looking to sell its cryptocurrencies on exchanges as it would have to go through due diligence, and would likely be turned down by most platforms over the sanctions.

Last year Venezuela launched an oil-backed cryptocurrency called Petro, which it says was distributed through an initial coin offering (ICO). To incentivize its adoption, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has ordered the country’s largest bank to accept it, among other measures.

Featured image via Pxhere.

Luxury Cars and $15 Million in Crypto Seized in Chinese Arbitrage Scam Bust

Michael LaVere
  • Chinese authorities seized $15M in crypto and several supercars following scam ring bust.
  • The group was allegedly operating an arbitrage scam that promised users fake Huobi Tokens. 

Chinese authorities have reportedly seized more than $15 million in crypto-assets and $2 million in supercars after busting up an arbitrage scam selling counterfeit tokens. 

According to a report by China’s Ministry of Public Security, police in the city of Wenzhou arrested 10 individuals connected to operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. The report claims the arbitrage group was scamming victims using blockchain smart contracts to generate fake cryptocurrencies. 

Following the bust, authorities seized bitcoin, ether, and tether worth over 100 million yuan ($15 million). The report also claims police seized several supercars, including a Ferrari and a McLaren valued at more than $2 million, in addition to the luxury villa in which the scammers were staying. 

The arrested individuals had reportedly operated a smart contract scheme since 2019, which advertised a blockchain product that claimed to generate Huobi’s native token HT. Unsuspecting consumers were promised the tokens would generate arbitrage opportunities worth a return of up to 8%. 

One victim, identified as Li in the report, first notified police after joining a Telegram group belonging to the scam artists. 

Li told authorities, 

Simply put, you send one unit of ETH to a designated address, you will receive 60 HT. And then you can sell it to gain the difference.

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