The service for the exchange of bitcoin (BTC) between pairs, Paxful, revealed this Monday that it will stop operating in Venezuela and gave users 30 days to withdraw their bitcoins from the platform. The company said in a statement that the decision was made due to “concerns about the regulatory landscape.”
Without offering further details about what happened, Paxful argued that it had done its best in recent months to continue offering the service to Venezuelans. However, the company said it had no alternative but to leave the local market.
«Today we are saddened to announce that Paxful will stop operating in Venezuela (…) Our mission is to help the 4,000 million people without access to banking services around the world and we are truly heartbroken that we cannot extend this call to the people of Venezuela for the moment”, highlighted Paxful on their website.
In an email message, Paxful indicated that they would “like to give 30 days to withdraw their funds” to users who hold bitcoins on the platform. This period, which extends from September 16 to October 15, will allow Venezuelan operators to withdraw their money without paying commissions or fees for outgoing transactions.
Regarding Venezuelans who are outside the country and who have verified their address, the company explained that, if they have already confirmed that they operate from abroad, they will be able to continue making transactions on the platform without inconvenience.
In an email sent to the operators, Paxful indicated that the total number of Venezuelan users reached was 16,500. Together they would have carried out some 156,000 transactions with counterparts from 150 countries.
It should be mentioned that Paxful is an international company that makes life in the bitcoin ecosystem, but is regulated in the United States, a country with which Venezuela maintains strained political relations. The friction between Caracas and Washington has led to financial sanctions against individuals and institutions of the Venezuelan State. Even President Donald Trump signed an executive order sanctioning the Petro, a state cryptocurrency project in Venezuela.
Paxful CEO Ray Youssef indicated to CriptoNoticias, in November of last year, that the barriers to operating in the country had significantly increased. However, he assured that Venezuela continued to be a “very important growth market for us.”
When asked about the possibility of interrupting operations in Venezuela due to sanctions, Youssef stressed almost a year ago that if sanctions were imposed that prohibited them from serving Venezuelans, then they had to comply with the prohibition. Although there is no direct and public restriction on this aspect, the exit would be related to the differences that have been increasing between the two nations.
Reactions to Paxful’s departure from Venezuela
Paxful’s decision sparked reactions from users who regretted their upcoming departure. One of them was Adrián Cabriles, who expressed through his Twitter account @adriancabriles his doubts about the regulations that kept the company concerned.
What sad news. Could it be known which regulations were preventing them from the proper functioning of their work? I hope they come back soon », public the operator in the social network.
Another who published her point of view on Twitter was Cristina Lugo at say: “Another platform less for Venezuelans to avoid inflation, because of the blessed sanctions.”
CriptoNoticias reported in June of this year that Paxful had eliminated operations with Banco de Venezuela by sanctions of the United States and guidelines of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The financial institution belongs to the Venezuelan State.
Despite Paxful’s departure, other services for the P2P exchange of bitcoin are still maintained in Venezuela, including: Localbitcoins, Hodl Hodl and Localcryptos.