Peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto marketplace LocalBitcoins said it has “no plans” to leave Venezuela – despite the United States Treasury-endorsed sanctions that have already forced one of its rivals to close down its operations in the South American nation.
As previously reported, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Treasury’s financial intelligence and enforcement agency, has placed a new set of sanctions on firms doing business with Venezuela and the Nicolás Maduro regime.
The Paxful exchange cited “regulations and sanctions related to the OFAC” as its reasons for shutting shop in Venezuela.
However, a LocalBitcoins spokesperson told Cryptonews.com,
“The current OFAC sanctions are not set against the citizens of Venezuela. The sanctions are set against the Venezuelan government as well as persons and institutions related to the government. LocalBitcoins delivers a very important service for the citizens of Venezuela and we currently have no plans on leaving the market.”
The Helsinki, Finland-based firm has enjoyed success in Venezuela, with bolivar trading hitting record-high levels throughout 2020, per Coin Dance data, with high, stable bitcoin trading volumes also recorded.
Inflation continues to spiral in Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in the region, with, Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile accounting for just shy 20% of LocalBitcoin’s total global volume in the early months of this year.
Washington’s relationship with the Maduro regime continues to worsen, with the UN accusing the Venezuelan leader and his cohorts of crimes against humanity, per the New York Times.