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Paraguay Endures Crackdown on Illegal Bitcoin Mining with Harsh Penalties

source-logo  crypto-news-flash.com 19 June 2024 19:35, UTC
  • Amendment to Article 173 of the Penal Code passed with significant support: 29 votes in favor, 7 abstentions.
  • Legislation now moves to Chamber of Deputies; if passed, President Santiago Peña will decide to sign or veto.

The Paraguayan Senate has recently passed a measure that imposes severe penalties on unauthorized Bitcoin mining operations. This legislation aims to address the theft of electricity for commercial or industrial purposes by increasing jail terms up to 10 years for those caught mining Bitcoin without proper permissions.

Furthermore, the law mandates the confiscation and forfeiture of ASIC mining equipment involved in such activities.

The modification was made to Article 173 of the Paraguayan Penal Code and was a government initiative, presented by Senator Ever Villalba last month. The proposal received substantial support in the Senate, passing with 29 votes in favor and 7 abstentions, without any opposition.

This legislative action targets operators who illegally tap into the electricity grid, as mentioned in Crypto News Flash. According to Senator Villalba, the amendment does not seek to criminalize the cryptocurrency mining industry but rather to regulate the misuse of electrical power. Villalba highlighted the significant financial gains made from such illegal connections, stressing the necessity of controlling this abuse to protect the nation’s electrical infrastructure.

Villalba indicated that cryptomining activity should not be “criminalized” and explained that, on the contrary, “the aim is to control the irregular use of energy”.

The Bill now Moves to the Paraguayan Chamber of Deputies.

If approved, it will proceed to President Santiago Peña’s desk for signing into law or veto. This move by the Paraguayan Senate is part of a broader effort to curb the unauthorized and fraudulent activities associated with Bitcoin mining, which has been a growing concern due to the considerable strain it places on the country’s power supply.

In addition to this bill, there are currently four other legislative proposals in the Paraguayan Congress related to Bitcoin mining, already covered in Crypto News Flash. These include a proposal that advocates for a complete ban on the activity within the country.

These legislative efforts indicate a shift towards stricter regulation of digital mining practices in Paraguay, aiming to safeguard essential public utilities and promote responsible use of resources in the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency.