Venezuela’s government has blocked the popular digital currency exchange Airtm. However, health workers were supposed to obtain their salaries via the exchange.
Earlier in August, opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced he would begin registering the 62,000 “Health Heroes” who are to soon receive $100 monthly bonuses in digital wallets provided by Mexico City-based Airtm, according to the Washington Post.
Guaidó won a legal battle against President Nicolas Maduro, leading to the recovery of over $24 million from foreign accounts. About $18 million of the recovered money would benefit health workers fighting against Covid-19.
The exchange has over 500,000 users in Venezuela, and it allows them to access digital currencies and US dollars.
Furthermore, the Venezuelan government has extremely devalued its local currency following two decades of hyperinflation.
However, according to press statements, Airtm’s co-founder, Josh Kliot, said that in anticipation of the launch, some of the company’s 500,000 users in Venezuela reported their inability to access the website. He blamed Maduro’s socialist government for the outages.
“All we want to do is help those who most need it by making money free and accessible,” Kilot added.
Venezuela’s digital currency chief wanted
Meanwhile, authorities in the United States have allocated a $5 million bounty for information leading to the arrest of Venezuelan digital currency chief Joselit Ramirez. They say he has links to known drug lords and money laundering activities.
Ramirez is the head of Venezuela’s National Superintendency of Cryptoassets (Sunacrip). This body administers the Petro and other digital currencies in the country, according to Coingeek.