The Venezuelan authorities demanded that crypto companies stop all activities until a special order from the government. The reason, officials say, was an investigation into a multibillion-dollar corruption case.
Venezuelan media, citing sources close to law enforcement agencies, report that the country’s government insisted on a ban on any currency exchange transactions for national payment platforms, mining companies and cryptocurrency exchanges. The reason for the introduction of temporary restrictions is associated with the investigation of some major corruption scheme, which could lead to the leakage of about $ 20 billion from the country.
Law enforcement agencies suspect the administration of Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-owned oil and gas company, the fifth largest exporter of hydrocarbons in the world, of fraudulent activities. In addition, investigators suspect some politicians close to President Nicolas Maduro.
The National Anti-Corruption Police of Venezuela has begun checking bitcoin mining companies to find any links between them and those involved in the case. Law enforcement agencies check whether miners have the necessary permits and up-to-date documentation to work in the country.
It is not yet known when Venezuelan crypto companies will be able to get permission to resume operations and how long the investigation will last.
Previously, Banco de Venezuela, the largest bank in Venezuela, was the victim of an attack by an encryption virus that extorted a ransom in cryptocurrency for decryption and restoration of access to data.