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Venezuela to start its state-backed crypto exchange

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

The Venezuelan government and the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) announced the creation of a crypto exchange that will offer pairs between bolivar and Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) and Dash (DASH). The crypto exchange will be called the Venezuelan Exchange (VEX).

Sunacrip added that this VEX will use “P2P technology”, and will also be accessible and linked to the government-issued PetroApp crypto-portfolio application.

Sunacrip wrote: “This digital platform will allow users to carry out transactions on the cryptos exchange market”.

This initiative is the latest in a series of activities by Sunacrip, which also recently announced major enhancements to its Patria crypto money transfer platform, with support offered for the BTC and LTC portfolios.

Sunacrip added that it will also revamp its own website with features such as price trackers for Bitcoin and altcoins and links to the Petro price calculator, a government-approved application that allows citizens to make real-time crypto-to-crypto, crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto price calculations.

The head of Sunacrip, Joselit Ramírez, is one of the main architects of the economic strategy of President Nicolás Maduro, who has called himself “cryptonomic”. As reported in June, America put a $5 million bounty on Ramírez’s head – accusing him of having “deep political, social and economic ties with multiple alleged narcotics kingpins”.

Meanwhile, Coinbase’s wallet supplier crypto Xapo is the last international company to leave Venezuela. This decision comes on the heels of the recent release of Paxful, a P2P crypto trading platform, while Washington continues to increase sanctions against Caracas.

In addition, in September, press reports indicated that the government blocked the main U.S.-based crypto trading platform, Coinbase. However, the crypto P2P marketplace LocalBitcoins said it had “no plans” to leave Venezuela.

While creating a national crypto exchange should be something crypto enthusiasts rejoice about around the world, it’s hard to get excited for one in one of the most corrupt countries on the planet. With their national currency devalued to incredible levels, many Venezuelans turned to Bitcoin recently to keep a part of their wealth.