Venezuela has Closed Two Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Venezuela is closing down two crypto exchages
Venezuela government has taken action against two exchanges operating in the country. The exchanges have been allowing their customers to convert cryptos to bolivars and also sending remittances abroad. Venezuela government Operation Paper Hands has already started a new phase with the dismantling of three illegal remittance houses: Radiocambio, Airtm, and Intercash. According to a report from the country’s Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab: “The current Operation Paper Hands is the biggest anti-litigation procedure in the history of Venezuela. So far we have arrested 112 people of whom 107 have already been taken to court.”
The operation is mainly aimed at taking action against people and companies which have disseminated false information about exchange rates. So far the country has already frozen 1,382 bank accounts blocking more than 10.6 million dollars. The country is now pursuing new 247 bank accounts which they plan to block and has issued 40 arrest warrants and more than 104 raids according to a notice from the public ministry of Venezuela.
Amon the three affected exchanges two engage in exchanging cryptocurrencies and Bolivars. Airtm is one of the largest exchanges in the country and supports the exchanges of Bitcoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Tether while Rapidcambio allows people to exchange Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ether, Dash, Litecoin, and Ripple.
Saab said that they were taking action against the exchanges because their websites are registered abroad together with their Twitter accounts and other social media platforms. More to that they use patent bank accounts in other countries like in Chile, US, Eduardo, and Panama. According to the prosecutor, the crackdown will only affect operations in Venezuela and not the other countries.
Saab went on to say that:
“These exchanges have in the past received deposits in cash or even by transfers and have converted the amounts at very high and unreal exchange rates. I have already contacted the president to create a new detention center for such criminals.”
The Prosecutor General was also quoted saying that: “I want an explanation on how in September 2017 a dollar cost 15,000 bolivars, December 100,000 bolivars, January 200,000 bolivars and in March 500,000 bolivars.”
The government has already closed down RapidCambio despite the exchange saying that it has always demonstrated responsibility, seriousness, commitment and honesty in the provision of service to all the Venezuela citizens who live abroad. The company has also added that it has never fixed market prices and that their exchange rates have always been given by the law of supply and demand in a free market without composition.
RapidCambio concluded by stating that: “It unfortunate that we are in need to close operations in an undefined manner because of the unjust persecution to exchange houses in Venezuela by the National Government.