Venezuela Bans Bitcoin Mining Operations in the Country’s Public Housing Sector
According to the Venezuelan Minister of Habitat and Housing, the government has banned mining operations in any low-income neighborhoods with subsidized housing. Ildemaro Villarroel told the public the restrictions are due to “high power consumption” in those areas.
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela has decided to not allow cryptocurrency mining in specific neighborhoods, specifically low-income areas with subsidized electrical costs.
Venezuela’s Minister of Habitat and Housing, Ildemaro Villarroel, explained that the ban was due to an excessive amount of power consumption. The news 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.” The Minister added:
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.
A small clip of Villarroel’s announcement was tweeted by Vtv Canal 8, a Venezuelan television broadcast. Some individuals didn’t like the bitcoin mining mandate in these neighborhoods and one person tweeted “only for the government.”
#EnVideo 📹| Queda prohibido instalar equipos de minado de criptomonedas en urbanismos de Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela por su alto consumo de energía, informa ministro de Hábitat y Vivienda, Ildemaro Villarroel #CuarentenaRadicalYSegura pic.twitter.com/awfqy9OaIM
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) July 15, 2020
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.
Reports detailed that secret agents demanded $1,000 per machine from two brothers in Caracas. Moreover, 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.
Ildemaro Villarroel’s latest order might be a warning to operators by the public houses of the Gran Misión Vivienda project. A followup warning to the recent crackdown and possible seizures in the future.