Venezuela Begins the Process of Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

Bhushan Akolkar
By Bhushan Akolkar
Posted on Feb. 11, 2019
Venezuela Begins the Process of Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

Earlier in February 2019, Venezuela released a legal framework and guidelines for the use and distribution of crypto assets and related products in the country. Note that Venezuela is severely ailing under the U.S. economic sanctions resulting in a sharp rise of the adoption of crypto assets by its local citizens.

A Decree to Regulate Cryptocurrency Transactions

Venezuela’s regulatory body - The National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) - announced last Friday that it has started regulating cryptocurrency remittances through an official decree published in the country’s Official Gazette No. 41.581. Sunacrip looks after regulating all crypto-related activities in Venezuela.

Sunacrip notes that the decree establishes “the requirements and procedures for the sending and receiving of remittances in crypto assets to natural persons in the territory of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”. Furthermore, 

“The sender of the remittances referred to in this ruling is obliged to pay a financial commission in favor of Sunacrip up to a maximum amount of 15% calculated on the total of the remittance”.

According to the official gazette, the minimum commission charged by Sunacrip is nearly 0.25 euros 0r $0.28, per transaction. A local news publication Criptonoticas reports that Sunacrip holds the ultimate power to put remittance limits, specify tariffs, put values of crypto assets in local currency Bolivar, as well request the data of issuers and receivers involved in a crypto transaction. 

The publication notes that Sunacrip has put a monthly limit of sending remittances to 10 Petros (PTR), Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency launched last year. It further explains: 

“This cap translates into US $600 per month, according to the quote set for the PTR. Any amount that exceeds this limit will require the Sunacrip endorsement, which will authorize up to a maximum of 50 PTR ($3,000)”.

Venezuelans have expressed their dissent over this centralized control over crypto assets brought by its government. The centralized control, as such, negates the very idea of using crypto assets. The Venezuelan government launched Petro (PTR) to circumvent the U.S. economic sanctions but have failed miserably in its task. The Petro is supposedly backed by country’s natural resources like oil, gold, and diamond. 

Internal Registry of Services In Crypto Assets

Earlier this month, Sunacrip Superintendent Ramirez Joselit announced the regulation of the “Integral Registry of Services in Crypto Assets [Risec]” being brought into force. Being in charge for Risec, Sunacrip will “systematize the information related to the identity and other recurrent data of the user of the Integral System of Crypto Assets and related activities.”

Furthermore, it will also set up a dedicated unit “responsible for the control, monitoring and verification of updating of the data contained in the Risec.”

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