Venezuelan government cashing in on Bitcoin mining through extortion & police raids

Here’s an interview with an anonymous Bitcoin miner in Venezuela, where the government is taking some extreme, and apparently unlawful, measures to cash in on Bitcoin mining.

I recently published, “Ground Zero In the Venezuelan Bitcoin Scene” and randomly received a message from an anonymous Twitter account complimenting the article. They also told me that I missed the real story. Of course I asked, “What was that?” They responded alluding to the Venezuelan Government’s involvement in Bitcoin mining. I thought to myself, now there is a story.

There have been other claims of issues in Venezuela, and there’s certainly an air of desperation that makes it seem possible, though there obviously remains a question of veracity in regards to the answers given here. Here’s an excerpt of some of the questions and answers:

There are stories of the government confiscating computers and mining equipment from people. Tell us about this.
Yes, sometimes the police squad that visits your place decides to seize your mining equipment, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

What do they do with the equipment?
Rumor has it they install them on government facilities.

It is not a secret the Venezuelan government is rumored to be using the confiscated mining equipment to run their own farms and making the people who they took it from to set it up. Tell us about these secret operations?
This is the worst case scenario, but I’ve heard multiple stories like this. If for some reason they don’t like you at all during the raid, they would confiscate your equipment and have you install it for them. They even “hire” you as an infiltrator and they make you rat out other miners.

How does the government and police find miners?
There is an intelligence police division exclusively for mining hunting. They accomplish so by monitoring electric power consumption looking for irregular situations.

Read the whole interview at Extortion, Police Raids and Secrecy: Inside The Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining World at Hacker Noon