According to an official announcement, the Venezuelan government will ban cryptocurrency mining in all state-owned flats or neighborhoods that are part of the “Gran Misión Vivienda” (Great Home Mission) project.
The announcement appeared in the film, which was posted on Twitter by the state television station VTV Canal 8.
#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
Reasonable use of electricity
In the video, Ildemaro Villarroel, the minister of housing and development, stated that the central government has issued an edict banning the installation of equipment in state houses that is used to mine Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
The minister said that the move was carried out as part of a campaign promoting the wise and conservative use of electricity.
“The installation of cryptocurrency mining machines has been banned in accordance with the revised housing plan of the Great Mission Housing Venezuela project.”
The Great Mission Housing Venezuela housing plan, introduced by the Hugo Chávez administration in 2011, was created to provide housing for low-income families due to the long-lasting economic crisis that the country was struggling with prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Villarroel also mentioned that the decision was made in cooperation with the Ministry of Electricity, as well as about the “detrimental effect” of cryptocurrency mining “on the demand and consumption of electricity in the state municipal housing.”
Cryptocurrency mining in Venezuela is legal, and according to data compiled by the University of Cambridge, the country is in the top ten largest electricity consumers in the world when it comes to crypto mining.
Earlier this month, the Venezuelan army took over 315 “unregistered” Antminer S9 excavators.
Fuel for state cryptocurrency
At the beginning of June, after months of fuel shortages, as a result of financial sanctions imposed by the US, the Venezuelan government made a surprising policy change: It ended the practice of subsidizing gasoline, which made the fuel virtually free.
After the changes, the price of gasoline increased from almost zero to 5000 bolivars per liter, or about 10 grosze. Interestingly, Venezuelans can pay at a gas station with the state-owned cryptocurrency Petro (PTR).