How to Use Crypto-Assets in Venezuela

How to Use Crypto-Assets in Venezuela

Diverse legal acts related to crypto-assets in Venezuela have repercussions and implications, specifically in the rules of the Integral System of Cryptoassets and the regulations related to the banking sector, such as the Law of Institutions of the Banking Sector.

How to Use Crypto assets in Venezuela Without Falling Victim to Blockades

For that reason, the Criptojuris Venezuela Foundation, hand in hand with its directors, lawyers Elba Boada and Ernesto Portillo, give answers to some elements related to operations with bank accounts and crypto assets.

Last December 2022, it was mentioned that banking operations linked to cryptocurrencies would be supervised in real-time.

Cryptoassets: Exchange or swap transactions?

This type of situation has resulted in the banking sector limiting the operations of bank accounts related to crypto-asset transactions and there are even some banks that refuse to provide services to organizations legally authorized to exchange crypto-assets.

However, we must point out that the use of crypto assets in Venezuela is legal, as evidence of this is the more than 60 regulations related to this sector, which allow the use of crypto assets as a means of payment, store of value and unit of account.

Decree On Cryptoassets

The function that crypto assets have, is to serve as a means of payment, in this sense such a statement can be seen in Article 9 of the Constituent Decree On Crypto-assets and the Sovereign Cryptocurrency Petro, published in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela No. 6,370 Extraordinary, dated April 9, 2018, which states the following:

Article 9. The Venezuelan State shall promote, protect and guarantee the use of Cryptocurrencies as means of payment in public institutions, private companies and mixed or joint ventures, inside and outside the national territory.

Taking into account this and other legal demarcations about crypto-assets in various legislations, several central elements can be highlighted, such as their functionality, since they serve as a means of payment, they belong to an alternative system to the traditional Financial System and the most important in our opinion is that they do not include digital representations of fiat currencies.

Another differentiating element to be highlighted is the organization of the system, different from the fiduciary money financial sector, such as the actors of the Integral Crypto-asset System, which is constituted by the National Superintendence of Crypto-assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP), as the governing body.

Financially autonomous Crypto-assets

On the contrary, the essence of these is the elimination of the intermediation of the trusted third party, to replace it with the autonomy of the will of the parties and to verify the transaction through cryptographic proof using time stamping and digital fingerprint (Hash).

While the exchange operations arise from a regulatory framework of the institutions regulated by the State, such as banks and exchange houses, among others for that purpose. In the case of exchange houses, these institutions own the Integral System of Cryptoassets and perform exchange operations, such as:

  1. Exchange of cryptocurrencies for cryptocurrencies.
  2. Exchange of fiat currency for cryptocurrencies.
  3. Exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiduciary money.
  4. Purchase and sale of crypto assets
  5. Custody of funds in fiat currency and cryptos.
  6. Making payments.
  7. Funds Administration
  8. Receiver of Funds
  9. Cryptocurrency management
  10. Trading activity

Effectively, you can use crypto-assets as a means of payment.

Banking operations and crypto-assets

As can be seen, it is once again ratified that exchange operations are proper to a traditional sector of the financial system, such as banking institutions and SUDEBAN, as opposed to operations with crypto-assets, which have another set of rules and therefore another institution that governs them, such as SUNACRIP, for the Venezuelan case.

Therefore, it makes it of a different nature and its treatment is different from traditional money.

Let us also remember that the essence of crypto-asset transactions is the autonomy of the will of the parties, governed by agreements between parties, without the mediation of traditional institutions of the financial sector.

Cryptoassets: How to avoid blockades?

If you want to avoid being affected by the blocking of bank accounts due to your P2P operations in crypto assets, the Criptojuris Venezuela Foundation recommends you take into account the following recommendations:

Protect your bank account

  1. You must keep your bank file updated, that is to say, update your data.
  2. You must justify through verifiable information the movements of your bank account.
  3. In case of blockage of your bank accounts, you should immediately contact your bank operator so that he/she can tell you what kind of information is required or the status of your account.
  4. Always have your income certification, list of operations, Tax Information Record and Identity Card at hand.
  5. Have processed your Crypto-asset Services Information Registry (RISEC), in compliance with Venezuelan regulations regarding crypto-assets.
  6. Do not accept transactions from third parties, you may be involved in a triangulated fraud, to avoid compromising situations before security agencies and criminal or administrative investigation.
  7. You should verify the reputation of the person with whom you make the exchange.

Protect the wallet

  1. You must understand that the exchange of crypto assets is an activity considered high-risk.
  2. Always perform P2P transactions where the identity of your counterparty is verifiable.
  3. Write a good Disclaimer where you specify your conditions for the success of your transactions and thus mitigate the risk in case of being involved in fraud.
  4. Individuals or legal entities that make investments through their resources or securities represented in virtual assets, must keep statistical data, financial statements and other relevant data or information.