2021 was a year that saw significant changes in Venezuela’s microeconomic situation. In this area, more than 2020, the effects of powerful catalysts such as COVID-19, were evident.
The role of cryptocurrencies was crucial in a more dynamic economy that has high volumes of foreign currency operations, as well as this year’s South American country.
This review will focus on the highlights of Venezuela’s crypto ecosystem in 2021. It includes related areas like trading, play to-earn (P2E), games, fintech, regulation, and non-fungible tokens.
More people accept cryptocurrencies
Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, ranks Venezuela seventh in the Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index 2021 due in large part to peer to peer (P2P), trading activity.
In 2021, a growing number of Venezuelans and businesses accepting cryptocurrency as payment was a notable trend. This is a trend that has been affecting the South American nation for many years.
It is becoming more common to see merchants or people using cryptocurrency as a method of payment in some major cities, such as Caracas and Puerto La Cruz.
It is possible to adopt cryptocurrencies in a digital economy without having to be an expert on the subject thanks to the rise and acceptance of cryptocurrency payment platforms like Binance Pay, Reserve, or Valiu.
The Simon Bolivar International Airport, Bio Mercados supermarket chain, and several casinos are some of the notable businesses that accept cryptocurrency in Venezuela. Church’s Chicken, a fast food chain, began offering bonuses in Dash (DASH) to its employees.
Support for legal mining
According to a report by the University of Cambridge, Venezuela ranked among the top 10 cryptocurrency-mining countries at the beginning of 2021, making it the first Latin American country to break the top 10.
It has the lowest electricity prices in Latin America, since 2018, which is why it was a country with a high mining rank. This makes it attractive for Bitcoin (BTC), mining, and the creation a regulatory framework to protect and guarantee the legal development of this industry.
The National Superintendence of Cryptoassets has called for legal miners to continue operating legally, despite some instances of equipment being seized and arbitrary disconnections. It continues to search for ways to ensure legal stability.
Mid-September saw an official communication from the government directing law enforcement not to conduct inspections or carry out operations related to supervision, seizure, or any other nature that would interrupt cryptocurrency mining.
SUNACRIP hosted the country’s fifth official meeting on mining in November. More than 150 miners came from the region and companies were involved with the sector. They also met with Binance and other exchanges such as Binance and crypto personalities from Venezuela.
Play-to-earn game craze
In the four-months ending in 2021, 10 out of 50 Venezuelan web pages were related to cryptocurrency. This includes a significant number of popular NFT games such as Axie Infinity or Plants vs Undead.
Venezuelan crypto enthusiasts, as well as newcomers, were furious at play-to-earn (and NFT) games. Due to the ability of players to earn dividends, these games have promoted crypto adoption.
This has been a source of economic relief for many Venezuelan families due to the low salaries. Venezuela is actually the second-most active country user base in AxieInfinity, behind only the Philippines.
Many businesses started to accept Axie Infinity’s Smooth Love Potion token. Binance allowed P2P exchange for SLP. A candidate for governor of the ruling political party promised Axie Infinity scholarships, if he was elected.
There is a lot of cademic interest to crypto and blockchain.
Adoption in Venezuela is a matter of education. The Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Venezuela has incorporated fintech and cryptocurrencies into its curriculum for programs in its schools in business administration and public accounting.
The Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Telecomunicaciones e Informatica introduced a master’s degree on blockchain, while Universidad de los Llanos unveiled plans to introduce an undergraduate degree focused on blockchain engineering and cryptocurrencies in 2022.
Nominated Blockchain Specialist
Roman Maniglia (civil servant) was appointed at the end September by President Nicolas Maduro as the president of Banco de Venezuela, the country’s largest bank.
Venezuela’s interest is in combining traditional financial systems and the latest technologies such as blockchain has been demonstrated by the appointment of an official who, according to his Twitter bio, describes himself as a specialist on finance, cryptocurrency, fintech, and blockchain.
Promotion of Venezuelan NFT art
2021 witnessed a boom in cryptocurrency markets and the explosion of NFTs around the world — Venezuela was no exception.
NFTs were widely adopted in entertainment by a variety of popular video games as well as in music and art.
SUNACRIP launched a NFT to commemorate the country’s independence as well as the bicentennial of Battle of Carabobo. Ron Carupano, the long-standing leader in Venezuela’s liquor industry, launched its own collection on OpenSea’s marketplace decentralized for charitable purposes. A group of Venezuelan artists, called La Tokenia, created NFTs from artworks and displayed them in special exhibitions.
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