Bitcoin mining operations banned in Venezuela. Venezuela’s United Socialist Party has opted not to allow cryptocurrency mining in particular neighbourhoods, especially low-income areas with subsidized electric costs.
Venezuela’s Minister of Habitat and Housing, Ildemaro Villarroel, explained that the ban was due to an excessive amount of power consumption. This follows the story about the Venezuelan military that recently seized approximately 315 Bitmain Antminers.
Villarroel said during the announcement that “it is forbidden to install cryptocurrency mining equipment in urban plannings of Gran Misión Housing Venezuela for its high energy consumption.”
“In this coordinated work, we have detected the harmful effects of these elements of high electrical demand in the public houses of the Gran Misión Vivienda project.” he added.
In March 2017, prior to bitcoin’s big run-up in December, reports about cryptocurrency mining operation crackdowns were “expanding.” State-subsidized electricity in Venezuela is extremely cheap and in low-income areas, it’s almost free.
Various reports throughout 2017 and the following year revealed agents from the socialist regime were extorting miners. These agents demanded $1,000 per machine from two brothers in Caracas and the brothers paid the agents in order to keep the mining operations alive.
By the spring of 2018, the Venezuelan government reportedly banned bitcoin mining rig imports and continued law enforcement crackdowns on small mining operations.