Over 75 Crypto Accounts Have Been Frozen By Venezuelan Financial Institutions Banks
- Venezuelan private banks have frozen more than 75 cryptocurrency-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto conversion accounts.
- These accounts have been suspended because selling or exchanging for bitcoin is not justified.
Venezuela has begun monitoring the crypto accounts of customers who have been engaged in crypto trading, especially P2P transactional activity.
More than 75 crypto accounts have been frozen by Venezuelan private banks for facilitating crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto exchanges, according to Legalrocks, a crypto and blockchain-focused law business in Venezuela.
Banks in Venezuela are increasing their surveillance of customer accounts linked to crypto trading. More than 75 accounts have been blocked or are under investigation since the end of 2021, according to a blog post published by Legalrocks, a Venezuelan law practice specializing in cryptocurrency and blockchain.
According to Ana Ojeda, CEO of Legalrocks, suspending these crypto accounts because they are used to receive fiat currency for the purpose of selling or exchanging for crypto is not justified. But she makes clear that the rules change if there are strong indications that the money involved in these deals comes from unlawful or criminal activity. Financial authorities may also suspect cryptocurrency exchanges that are not licensed by Sunacrip, the national superintendency for cryptocurrency assets.
The economic crisis and the significant devaluation of the national fiat currency (the Venezuelan bolivar) this year, as explained by Ojeda, have made stablecoin exchanges through P2P markets commonplace. In other words, upon receiving fiat currency as payment, users buy stablecoins to store their wealth and later convert them back into fiat currency to make purchases.
Some commentators speculate that the growth of stablecoin-based peer-to-peer markets in Venezuela could be having a significant impact on the dollar-bolivar exchange rate. Economist Asdrubal Oliveros cited the FTX collapse and the fear of storing funds on custodial exchanges as possible causes of the 40% drop in the bolivar’s value versus the U.S. dollar that occurred in November.
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