The regime of Nicolás Maduro continues to lean on crypto to keep economically solvent.
Via Instagram, an engineering brigade of the Venezuelan army inaugurated the new “Digital Assets Production Center of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela.” As the video shows, the center houses various ASIC mining equipment used to crack proof-of-work algorithms.
General Lenin Herrera presented the new mining operation. The stated goal of the mining operation is “strengthening and self-sustainability of our units of the Bolivarian Army,” adding later that these mining centers would be generating “unblockable sources of income” and an alternative to the “trust system blocked and controlled by colonialist interests,” referring to the United States, a country that has leveled sanctions against many associates of the Maduro regime.
With oil prices crashing and political turmoil taking its toll even before COVID-19, Venezuela has seen historic inflation in recent months.
As Cointelegraph reported in September, Maduro proposed an “Anti-Blocks Law,” a legal body that proposes using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions and access financing from international allies.
These intentions are not new. The Maduro administration has gone so far as to launch and promote its own cryptocurrency, the Petro, which has seen limited success.
On the flip side, the U.S. military is also closely observing Venezuela’s crypto activities. Recently, Admiral Craig Stephen Faller referred to Maduro’s use of crypto and went so far as to link its use to drug trafficking and terrorism, adding that the armed forces were keeping an eye on all such operations.