Venezuelan Crypto Remittances Surge to $461 Million in 2023 Despite Government Crackdown

Twitter icon  •  Published 6 days ago  •  Nikolas Sargeant

Despite government restrictions, Venezuelans sent $461 million in cryptocurrency remittances in 2023, highlighting the enduring appeal of digital currencies for cross-border transactions.

Venezuela witnessed a significant increase in cryptocurrency remittances in 2023, reaching $461 million despite recent government efforts to curb crypto activities. This surge highlights the enduring popularity of digital currencies among Venezuelans for cross-border transactions.

Crypto's Growing Role in Venezuelan Remittances

Data from sources including the Inter-American Dialogue think tank, Bloomberg, and Chainalysis reveals that cryptocurrency remittances accounted for approximately 9% of all money sent to Venezuela in 2023. This represents a record high, with $9 out of every $100 remitted to the country being in the form of digital tokens like Bitcoin.

The trend is part of a larger remittance boom, with Venezuelans receiving over $5.4 billion in total remittances in 2023, constituting about 6% of the country's GDP. This marks a nearly 75% increase from 2021 figures.

The surge in remittances is linked to Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis, which has led to a mass exodus over the past decade. An estimated 7.7 million Venezuelans have left the country, with many settling in U.S. cities like New York and Chicago.

Crypto Adoption Persists Despite Crackdown

The Venezuelan government's recent crackdown on crypto activities, including the closure of exchanges and mining operations, has not significantly dampened enthusiasm for digital currencies. Peer-to-peer platforms remain popular among Venezuelans, allowing them to exchange cryptocurrencies at market rates and often bypass official exchange controls.

A Venezuelan expatriate, identified under the pseudonym Espinoza, shared his experience using cryptocurrencies for remittances. He purchases USDT on Binance and deposits it as fiat currency in a Venezuelan bank account, which his family can then access. Espinoza noted that this method is not only convenient but also helps preserve the value of his earnings against inflation.

Government's Shifting Stance on Crypto

Interestingly, the Venezuelan government previously encouraged crypto use for remittances, even launching a state-operated app called Patria for this purpose. The recent crackdown marks a significant policy shift, reflecting the complex and evolving relationship between the government and cryptocurrency in Venezuela.

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Author

Nikolas Sargeant

Nik is a content and public relations specialist with an ever-growing interest in Crypto. He has been published on several leading Crypto and blockchain based news sites. He is currently based in Spain, but hails from the Pacific Northwest in the US.