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Exploring Venezuela’s crypto ecosystem since the start of the pandemic

In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic first disrupted almost every aspect of our lives, many things have happened within the crypto ecosystem around the world. So, what has the past year been like for crypto in Venezuela?

Even before 2020, Venezuela already had a number of businesses that accepted various cryptocurrencies as payment; however, considerably more have moved to adopt this form of payment over the past year. This includes everything from the hotel sector to famous pizza chain Pizza Hut announcing that it will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

Halfway through 2020, crypto exchange Cryptobuyer and payments processor Mega Soft announced that they would form an alliance to allow some 20,000 merchants that use their services to accept payments in crypto through the Cryptobuyer Pay solution developed by the exchange.

Another important landmark was in September 2020 when a Bitcoin node was connected to Blockstream’s satellite network — a first for Venezuela. The result of a joint effort between Cryptobuyer and crypto education provider AnibalCripto, the node was launched despite the logistical limitations imposed by COVID-19-related lockdown measures. Likewise, those responsible for the node announced that this was the first step toward building a mesh network that would be able to process Bitcoin transactions without the need for an internet connection.

New regulations

Despite the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela, the crypto mining industry has been growing. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Venezuela contributes the most to the Bitcoin hash rate out of any nation in Latin America, which means that there is a substantial amount of computing power being generated in the country.

However, Venezuela introduced a new piece of legislation in September 2020 targeted at the country’s mining industry. In addition to the creation of a...

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