Reports out today suggest that the Venezuelan Government have now started to monitor traditional bank accounts in order to source and locate cryptocurrency related transactions. Those found to be engaging within cryptocurrency are to be severely punished. It’s a little bit like something out of Charlie Brookers Black Mirror and thus, people are feeling a little bit uncomfortable about it. According to Bitcoin.com, Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami has said that anybody found to be dealing in cryptocurrency is said to be “undermining the national currency and will be severely punished”. This comes from evidence to suggest that cryptocurrencies have been used within gang crime for some time now in the country and that overall, the movement of cryptocurrencies by mafias is said to be having a dramatic impact on the Venezuelan monetary system. According to Bitcoin.com:
“El Aissami explained that the government will start monitoring bank accounts for crypto-related transactions and will prosecute those trading them at speculative prices, stating that-
‘All the accounts that we identify that are linked to the manipulation are going to be severely punished and (those responsible will be) placed at the order of justice.’”You can see the full article for yourself, here- https://news.bitcoin.com/venezuela-monitoring-bank-accounts-crypto-transactions/ This does seem to be a form of censorship and thus, see’s the Venezuelan government enter some pretty uneven water with regards to how they are handling the private data of their citizens. Bank account monitoring is often seen as a step too far, realistically, who has the power to determine how another person chooses to spend their money. Moreover, this also raises concerns about external justifications that might be coming into play here. We should consider this – maybe the cryptocurrency approach is just being used as an excuse to mask an ulterior motive in that the Venezuelan Government are just using this to survey their citizens, and that’s that, regardless of their cryptocurrency affiliation. It is an uncomfortable topic to explore. Hopefully, the issues surrounding cryptocurrency are the only contributing factor to this. If this is the case then moreover, hopefully the government are going to allow for the fair use of cryptocurrencies and thus won’t punish honest and ‘legal’ traders. With this news rife though and with the potential to affect a number of people, we expect that this news is very much going to change the crypto-scape within Venezuela and perhaps even in the surrounding parts of South America.