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Venezuelan Government Gathers Airport Taxes In Bitcoin To Avoid U.S. Sanctions

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venezuela flag with bitcoin logo above it

Although there are very few airlines flying to Venezuela, the government is receiving airport taxes in Bitcoin (BTC). According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Nicolás Maduro and his government are evading sanctions imposed by the United States using a crypto payment app called Jetman Pay. 

Bitcoin to Avoid U.S. Sanctions

According to a recent report released by the Spanish newspaper ABC, Venezuela is receiving Bitcoin for airport taxes that airlines have to pay. The decision to use Bitcoin rather than U.S. dollars is related to the fact that the United States blocked Venezuelan accounts in the United States. 

With the funds gathered in Bitcoin, the country is able to sell the funds in cryptocurrency exchanges located in Hong Kong, Russia, China and Hungary, among other countries. After it, the funds are converted into U.S. dollars stored on Venezuelan accounts in these jurisdictions. 

ABC informed about it:

“According to airport sources contacted by ABC, authorities transfer the BTC to international exchanges located in Hong Kong, Russia, China and Hungary, and transfer the U.S. dollars to accounts the Venezuelan government has in these countries.”

In general, the payments made by airlines that want to operate in the country were made to accounts located in the United States that are now frozen by the U.S. government. As reported by ABC, Maiquetia Airport receives 2% of the funds gathered. 

Until now, the Venezuelan government was not able to receive U.S. dollar for the fuel airlines used. As mentioned before, this happens because the government cannot use its accounts in the United States

The newspaper informs that the app was developed by Ángel Alberto Lovera, a commercial and private pilot. He graduated from the Military Aviation School of Venezuela in 2006 and founded the Jetman Pay application. With it, it is possible to make payments for goods and services related to the aviation industry. 

A few weeks ago, many regulators in the United States raised concerns about Bitcoin and Facebook’s digital asset Libra. U.S. President Donald Trump commented that Bitcoin is being used by criminals to perform illegal activities. Indeed, this shows that Venezuela is using Bitcoin in order to avoid U.S. sanctions. Although the country created a digital asset called Petro, authorities and local agencies are using Bitcoin rather than the crypto released by the government last year. 

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Carlos Terenzi

Carlos Terenzi

Carlos is an international relations' analyst specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Since 2017, Carlos has written extensively for UseTheBitcoin and other leading cryptocurrency sites; with over 2,000 articles published.

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