Venezuelan Central Bank Accused of Laundering Bitcoin Obtained with Seized Mining Rigs

Michael LaVere
  • Venezuela's central bank is being accused of laundering BTC and ether obtained from seized mining rigs.
  • Crypto miners in the country have shared their experience of being threatened by authorities. 

Purse.io’s head of support Eduardo Gomez has blown the whistle on more corruption coming from the Venezuelan government, this time in the form of illegally obtained mining rigs.

Mining Rigs Seized 

In April 2018, the Economist first ran an article questioning the rate of bitcoin mining in Venezuela. The outlet claimed that, at the time, President Nicolas Maduro was using government ownership of the electrical grid to locate and crackdown on bitcoin miners. Corrupt authorities and officials were then reported to be seizing the mining rigs for their own personal gain, 

Mining equipment has been seized by officials, some of which was then used for their own gain. While bitcoin can protect from the tyranny of governments printing money, other kinds of tyranny remain unchecked.

In August, bitcoin miner Juan Blanco shared his experience on Twitter of having the police intimidate and threaten to seize his mining rigs, despite having no legal reason to do so. 

More recently, Purse.io’s head of support Eduardo Gomez took to Twitter to shed more light on the illegal practice. 

Gomez said the Venezuelan government has been illegally seizing mining rigs to obtain bitcoin and ethereum. However, the government is caught in a situation with no clear outlet to unload the coins. 

Gomez continued, explaining that the central bank will be used to launder the funds.

As Gomez points out, in addition to improperly seizing mining rigs from citizens, the crypto being generated by Venezuelan government officials will not be used to help benefit the country’s population as a whole.

Corruption in Venezuela has become a common story over the years, with the government struggling to bring an end to the hyperinflation impacting their national fiat currency.

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