(credit: BTC Keychain)
On Thursday, Venezuelan officials announced the arrest of four Bitcoin miners in Charallave, a city south of Caracas, on charges of Internet fraud and electricity theft.

The accused included three men and one woman, all between the ages of 23 and 57.
According to an Instagram post by Douglas Rico, the director of the Computer Crime Division of the Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigations Corps (CICPC), the four were operating more than 300 Antminer units and selling the bitcoins “on a commercial website.” As per Bitcoin-focused blog Bitcoinist, the Corps director went on to say that the accused sold the bitcoins “on the Colombian Venezuelan border in Cúcuta, affecting the consumption and stability of electricity services in the area.”
Reason magazine published an article a few months ago detailing how, amid the collapse of Venezuela’s economy, people are turning to Bitcoin mining as a way to stay afloat.

The country’s government heavily subsidizes electricity to the point where it costs about $0.02/kWh according to research project ClimateScope, so electricity-intensive Bitcoin mining sees a better return on investment in Venezuela than it might in a country with more expensive electricity.
Read 3 remaining paragraphs

Leave a Reply