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Creation of the Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Connected Activities

Decree No. 3.196 of December 8, 2017, issued by the President of the Republic, was published in Official Gazette No. 6.346 Extraordinary of December 8, 2017 (the “Decree”). Said Decree authorized the creation of the Superintendence of Cryptoassets and Connected Activities (the “Superintendence”) as a decentralized service, without legal personality, administered, supervised, and integrated with the Vice-presidency of the Republic. The purpose of the Decree is to establish, within the regulatory conditions prescribed in the Venezuelan Civil Code, the purchase-sale of financial assets, application, use and development of blockchain technologies, mining and development of new cryptocurrencies in the country.    

 

The Decree also authorized the creation of a cryptocurrency called “PETRO”, backed by Venezuelan petroleum quoted on the OPEC basket, as well as other commodities, including gold, diamond, coltan, and gas. Each PETRO unit will have as physical support a purchase-sale agreement for one (1) barrel of oil of the Venezuelan crude basket or any commodity decided by the Nation.

 

The holder of PETRO will have a virtual wallet and will be entirely responsible for the management and custody of the same. Said holder may exchange the market value of the cryptocurrency for the equivalent in another cryptocurrency or in bolivars at the market rate of exchange published by the Casa de Intercambio de Criptoactivos Nacional (National Cryptoasset Exchange Agency), which will be the entity offering the infrastructure for the secondary negotiation of the cryptoassets . Likewise, the holder may exchange the market value of the cryptoasset for a fiduciary currency on the International Exchanges.

 

The initial placement of the PETRO will be made through auction or direct awarding made by the Superintendence, as per the number of barrels in reserves granted as backing by the National Executive.  Once the initial auction has been held and the cryptoassets have been awarded to the investors, the custody will be decentralized. 

 

The operation and internal organization of the Superintendence will be defined in the Internal Regulations and other operating rules issued to that end.

 

The Decree became effective upon publication in the Official Gazette.

 

In order to access the Decree, please click here.

 

 

“NOTE: THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SPECIFIC MATTER AND ITS CONTENT ARE INTENDED AS A MANAGEMENT ALERT AS TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN VENEZUELA, ANY SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEW OR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PARTICULAR SITUATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TRAVIESO EVANS ARRIA RENGEL & PAZ.”