It’s a whole new beginning for the crypto industry in Venezuela, which shall now have to adhere to the brand new crypto legal framework that officially came into force on Jan. 31.
A Government decree is up on Gaceta Oficial, which is the official media outlet of the government. It lists out the new regulations established by the crypto bill. The bill has been approved by the Constituent National Assembly of the country, and sets up regulations for various stakeholders in the crypto world.
The decree is titled “Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets” and it contains 63 articles. It establishes rules such as mandatory licenses for mining entities and crypto exchanges and levies fines for unlicensed activities.
It also outlines the definitions of key crypto terms, such as crypto assets, cryptography, mining, blockchain, etc. It also provides backing for Petro, by introducing the concept of a sovereign crypto asset, which is any currency issued in Venezuela and authorized by the government.
For those unaware, the country had established a national crypto watchdog back in 2018 called Sunacrip. The decree also guarantees certain powers to that body. For example, according to Article 11 of the bill, any digital miners, exchanges and any other financial services that might serve as intermediaries in the Venezuelan crypto market, shall be under surveillance of the body.
Sunacrip will have the power to control “creation, emission, transfer, commercialization and exchange” of all crypto actives within Venezuela, which is a tremendous amount of power for any one body to have.
All crypto-related companies have to register with Sunacrip; failing to do so, shall result in punishment of up to one to three years in prison, and fine of 50 to 100 sovereign crypto assets ($3,000 to $6,000).
The registration process is detailed out in the decree. Article 28 outlines the different types of licenses for crypto startups, based on their trading volumes, nature of the crypto assets they manage and other criteria. The companies will have to pay a fee at the time of registration.