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Crypto in Venezuela: Two Sides of a Coin

Crypto in Venezuela: Two Sides of a Coin cover page
Crypto in Venezuela: Two Sides of a Coin cover page

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Executive Summary 

Venezuela’s complex relationship with cryptocurrency highlights the beginning of a profound transformation in the pursuit of financial freedom and security. Although used as a weapon by the Maduro regime to fortify its channels for corruption, Venezuelan citizens have turned to cryptocurrency in order to pave a new way of life. In an effort to thwart the amassing corruption of Venezuela while enabling its people to thrive through cryptocurrency, the result of this study recommends the following. 

Sanctions & Asset Recovery:

  1. Strengthen Sanctions Enforcement: Governments and their financial regulatory bodies should enforce existing statutes to prevent exploitation by the Maduro regime as well as other sanctioned and corrupt entities.
  2. Compliance: Financial institutions and cryptocurrency platforms should implement stringent compliance measures to detect and prevent the misuse of digital currencies by sanctioned regimes.
  3. Asset Recovery Initiatives: The burgeoning field of crypto asset recovery should be capitalized to trace and reclaim the proceeds of funds misappropriated by the Maduro regime, ensuring these are returned to their rightful owners—the Venezuelan people.

Educational & Community Initiatives:

  1. Cryptocurrency Literacy: There should be targeted educational programs for both residents and the extensive Venezuelan diaspora on the practical and safe use of cryptocurrencies to enhance financial literacy and empower individuals to utilize these tools for remittance transfers and wealth preservation.
  2. Education on Best Practices: Encourage the adoption of self-custodial wallets to empower individuals with direct control over their cryptocurrency assets, minimizing reliance on potentially compromised third-party services.
  3. Humanitarian Programs: Utilizing blockchain technology can revolutionize humanitarian aid delivery through cryptocurrencies, ensuring that aid is distributed transparently and directly to those in need without governmental diversion.


About the Authors

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) serves as the bridge between technologists, policymakers, industry, and global stakeholders.  Read more