Sunacrip is the Venezuelan cryptocurrency watchdog. It wants to be able to better monitor the transactions that Venezuelans use cryptocurrencies and other assets through fintech platforms. The providence was issued by the organization. It establishes the mechanism for dealing with suspicious activity, including on fintech platforms.
Joselit Ramirez (head of the organization) signed the providence. It is an internal document that seeks to include different Financial Action Task Force directives in its work processes to detect money laundering or terrorism financing schemes. Venezuela is currently not a member of the FATF due to international sanctions.
According to the internal providence, non-authorized transactions might be considered an alarm signal and can be reported to national financial intelligence to be investigated. Although the memo doesn’t specify what penalties could be applied for these violations however, another law outlines sanctions for crypto assets that are not authorized and imposes penalties up to $15,000.
Disrupting Crypto Adoption
Some users of exchanges such as Binance could be affected by this new set of rules. Despite being widely used in crypto-related circles in the country, Binance does not have an official registration or authorization. To avoid the sanctions, users of the exchange may flee to other platforms. There are also other popular exchanges in the country that are not listed on the authorized exchanges list.
Sunacrip in January revoked two exchange licenses and made available information about those that were authorized by the company. Binance was left out, however, which is an important name. Ramirez advised users not to use these unlicensed exchanges at that time.
This regulation does not apply to cryptocurrency exchanges. This regulation would also apply to fintech platforms and fiat exchanging service providers that operate in the country.
Raul Velasquez is a Venezuelan lawyer who loves cryptocurrency and stated that the national intelligence unit has the ability to request information from both banks and crypto institutions. “Fiat on- and off-ramps are particularly vulnerable to being monitored. This is however a costly and complex task for government institutions. He said that it was strange that the document wasn’t published in the official gazette of the country, as this is a mandatory procedure for documents of this type.