CARACAS – Venezuela has been known in recent years as one of the world’s worst performers in economic activity and business confidence, but surprisingly there seems to be some good news for making it to a new little-known type of world rankings for many people: cryptocurrency mining.

The term means gaining cryptocurrencies by solving cryptographic equations through the use of computers, whose process involves validating data blocks and adding transaction records to a public record (ledger) known as blockchain. Crypto mining has only been around since the popular Bitcoin was first mined in 2009.

According to an Instagram post by the nonprofit National Cryptocurrencies Association (Asonacrip), Venezuela took the 10th place in the crypto mining world rankings compiled by the University of Cambridge with a score of 0.42%.

China and the US dominate the list with 65.8% and 7.24%, respectively, followed by Russia (6.90%), Kazakhstan (6.17%), Malaysia (4.33%), Iran (3.82%), Canada (0.82%), Germany (0.56%), and Norway (0.48%).

Crypto mining has been continuously spurred by the leftist regime of Nicolás Maduro as a mechanism to avoid the harsh economic sanctions imposed by Washington to such an extent that it has created a token backed by the country’s battered oil industry known as the Petro, which has been unsuccessfully introduced as means of payment, store of value, and even a unit of account.

Dollarization in Venezuela already comprises about 60% of the transactions in the economy, a reason for which the greenback is, in practice, the main means of payment in the country.

Unofficially, it is known that the Maduro government carries out commercial transactions through cryptocurrencies and views mining as a strategic activity that should remain under the control of the State, for which there is currently a strict regulation regarding the mining process.

Despite the rising popularity of Dash and Ethereum, Bitcoin remains the most widely-used cryptocurrency among traders in Venezuela.