Venezuela’s New Cryptocurrency Rules Enter Into Force

Venezuela’s New Cryptocurrency Rules Enter Into Force

The decree establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Venezuela has entered into force. It contains 63 articles including rules for the purchase, sale, use, distribution, and exchange of cryptocurrencies and related products. It also mandates a registration system and details audit procedures, penalties for non-compliance, and how mining equipment can be confiscated.

Legal Framework for Cryptocurrencies

Venezuela’s “Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets” has been published in the country’s official gazette. The decree establishing the legal framework for cryptocurrencies and all related activities contains 63 articles; it entered into force with the publication in the gazette.

Ramirez Joselit, the Superintendent of Sunacrip, Venezuela’s Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities, tweeted on Jan. 31:

The 63 articles are grouped into six sections. The first section comprises articles 1 to 5 which outline general information about the decree including its objectives and scope of application. It also defines blockchain, digital mining, crypto asset, sovereign crypto asset, cryptography, user, and public price.

The second section explains the “structure of the Integral System of Crypto Assets” in articles 6 to 28. The third section sets rules for the new registration system in articles 29 to 33 while the fourth details the audit and inspection procedures in articles 34 to 41. Articles 42 to 51 make up the fifth section which discusses offenses and penalties whereas articles 52 to 63 are found in the last section which mostly describes administrative procedures.

“The purpose of this constituent decree is to create and define the regulatory framework applicable to the Integral System of Crypto Assets,” the gazette reads. According to article 3:

Sunacrip and the Registration System

Sunacrip, which has already been acting as the regulator of all crypto-related activities in Venezuela, has been given even more power by the decree which states:

In addition, individuals and legal entities wanting to carry out crypto-related activities including mining are required to register with Sunacrip. Article 11 states that the regulator must “coordinate and monitor the records of digital miners, exchange houses and other financial services” that deal with crypto assets. Article 29 further calls for the regulator to “create the necessary records to systematize the information corresponding to digital miners, exchange houses, other financial services in crypto assets and the intermediation of crypto assets.”

Article 33 states that Sunacrip “will establish the public prices applicable to the system of registry, to the exchange operations, as well as to the services that lend and other considerations.”

Inspections and Confiscations

Article 34 of the decree details how Sunacrip will inspect the activities in the cryptocurrency sector to ensure compliance.

If any signs of non-compliance are detected during an inspection, measures will be taken to prevent further violations, article 37 describes. These measures may consist of confiscation of any mining equipment found, and the “suspension of licenses, permits or authorizations” issued by Sunacrip, as well as the suspension of “Any other provision in the legal system to prevent the violation of the rights of citizens.” The article further details:

With all of the new powers granted to Sunacrip, Criptonoticias news outlet commented that “This could mean that Sunacrip would be in a position to monitor any platform that serves the commercialization of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela, whether national or international, centralized or decentralized … which would encompass services like the one offered by Localbitcoins.”


The decree also proclaims heavy penalties for unlicensed crypto activities, including mining. According to article 42:

Furthermore, article 43 states that those who have obtained, accessed, intercepted, interfered or used “information technologies related to the Integral System of Crypto Assets” without proper authorization “will be punished with imprisonment from one (01) to three (03) years and fined equivalent of fifty (50) to one hundred (100) sovereign crypto assets.” Criptonoticias noted that this rule applies not only to miners but also to “any person that is related to the management of crypto assets.”

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