Venezuela to Disconnect All Bitcoin Mining Farms to Control Power Demand

Venezuela announced it will disconnect all cryptocurrency mining farms from the national power grid to manage electricity demand and ensure efficient service.
Venezuela to Disconnect All Bitcoin Mining Farms to Control Power Demand

Key Takeaways

  • Venezuela will disconnect all cryptocurrency mining farms from the power grid.
  • The move follows the confiscation of 2,000 mining machines amid an anti-corruption operation.
  • The ongoing electrical crisis has led to 219 protests in the first quarter of 2024.

On May 18, 2024, the Venezuelan Ministry of Electric Power (MPPPE) announced that it will disconnect all cryptocurrency mining farms from the national electrical system to control power demand.

This measure aims to provide efficient and reliable service to the Venezuelan population.

The announcement came after the confiscation of at least 2,000 cryptocurrency mining machines in Maracay, Aragua, approximately 120 kilometers southwest of Caracas.

Anti-corruption

This operation is part of a broader anti-corruption campaign initiated last year, which led to the arrest of several officials from Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the National Superintendency of Cryptoassets (Sunacrip), and other state institutions.

Since last year, Sunacrip has been under the control of a restructuring board following the arrest of its superintendent, Joselit Ramírez. Ramírez’s arrest is linked to former Minister of Petroleum and ex-PDVSA President Tareck El Aissami, who was detained earlier this month on charges of treason, embezzlement, influence peddling, money laundering, and association.

Rafael Lacava, Governor of Carabobo, emphasized the significant energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining farms, leading to electricity rationing.

Lacava urged citizens to report any such farms to prevent power outages.

Energy crisis since 2009

Venezuela has faced an ongoing electrical crisis since 2009, which worsened in 2019 with widespread blackouts that left several cities without power for up to seven days.

The persistent power fluctuations and outages have negatively impacted the quality of life and economic activities across the country.

Experts attribute the crisis to a lack of maintenance and investment in the electrical system.

However, the government partly blames sabotage and has pledged to modernize the state-controlled power grid.

The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict documented 219 protests in the first quarter of this year due to frequent and prolonged power cuts.

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