- Paxful will block support for Venezuela
- The exchange cited OFAC sanctions as a reason
- Local customers asked to withdraw their funds within 30 days
Popular peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin exchange, Paxful has recently disclosed that it will stop providing its cryptocurrency services to customers in Venezuela. The decision stems from regulatory uncertainty as the exchange implied. Local users have been warned to withdraw their holdings from the platform. This will leave out LocalBitcoins as the only major P2P Bitcoin exchange serving the country.
Paxful blocks users from Venezuela
The popular United States-based P2P Bitcoin exchange made this known to its Venezuelan customers in an email. Paxful blamed regulatory issues, especially the OFAC sanctions, as the main reason they decided to exit the local market. While addressing the sadden customers on Twitter, the Paxful LatAm team, precisely noted that:
“Due to concerns regarding the regulatory landscape around Venezuela and Paxful’s own risk tolerance, we regret to report that Paxful will be ceasing operations in Venezuela. We made our best efforts for several months but with current risks, we had no choice but to make this incredibly difficult decision.”
The concerned customers have been warned by the P2P Bitcoin exchange to withdraw all their funds in 30 days. The exchange has already stopped accepting new sign-ups from the country. However, Venezuelans that confirm they are residing abroad can continue to trade cryptocurrencies on the exchange.
P2P Bitcoin exchange service in Venezuela
Ernesto Portillo, a Venezuelan lawyer who is also interested in digital currencies, told CryptoPotato that the sudden decision of Paxful to dismiss local customers “was due to the imposition of the world’s hegemonic power.” Portillo argued that the Bitcoin exchange has shifted to prioritize financial interest, rather than assisting to ensure “the freedom of the people to exercise the economic activity of their preference.”
Meanwhile, the exchange’s decision is coming a few days after Venezuela was named amongst the top countries with the highest cryptocurrency transactions. Additionally, the exit of Paxful leaves plenty of room for other P2P Bitcoin exchanges to strive, like LocalBitcoins that already sees over 90 percent of the entire Bitcoin transactions in Venezuela.