Venezuela’s government has extended the reorganization period of its crypto oversight body, Sunacrip, by an additional six months. Established in 2018, Sunacrip was one of the pioneering initiatives in Latin America aimed at inspecting all crypto-related commercial activities within the nation. It was instrumental in the creation, emission, transfer, commercialization, and exchange of all crypto activities in Venezuela.
However, in March 2023, the government closed Sunacrip due to a corruption scandal involving its former top management. The scandal led to the arrest of at least ten people, including Joselit Ramirez Camacho, the leader of the crypto department since its inception. Venezuelan prosecutors claim that Ramirez embezzled over $3 million from the state during his tenure at Sunacrip, overseeing the country’s crypto regulation and the implementation of the petro, a national cryptocurrency tied to oil reserves.
The closure of Sunacrip plunged the Venezuelan crypto industry into chaos, as it is closely intertwined with the state and has been leveraging digital assets to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Consequently, crypto mining facilities faced shutdowns in several states, and numerous crypto exchanges received orders to halt operations.
President Nicolás Maduro, through a presidential decree published on September 19, has mandated the extension of Sunacrip’s forced reorganization period. The new extension commenced on September 17 and is slated to conclude on March 24, 2024. This move is seen as a step to restructure and revamp the entity after the corruption scandal that tainted its reputation and operational integrity.
Moreover, the reorganization and the subsequent extension underscore the government’s commitment to cleansing the regulatory body of its tarnished image and reinstating its operational efficacy. The reorganization is crucial for the Venezuelan crypto industry, which has been in disarray since the shutdown of the regulatory body.
Significantly, the reorganization of Sunacrip is pivotal for restoring order and confidence in the Venezuelan crypto sector. The industry keenly observes the developments, hoping for a the transparent and efficient regulatory body to guide the nation’s crypto activities in alignment with legal and ethical standards.