Argentina's Customs Office Seizes $21M in Crypto Mining Equipment: Report

The case involves 2,233 Whatsminer machines that were improperly imported, according to the government.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2022 at 5:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 10, 2023 at 11:53 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Argentina’s customs office seized 2,233 crypto mining rigs that it claims were improperly invoiced at about $5 million more than their actual value, reported newspaper Ámbito Financiero.

According to a complaint filed by the agency on Thursday, the machines were valued for importation purposes at $10,000 each, but were actually worth just $6,316 to $7,700 each.

The case is now being investigated by Judge Pablo Yadarola, who on Monday ordered a survey of the seized goods. “We must take care of the dollars for production and job creation, not for financial speculation,” said Guillermo Michel, general director of the customs office.

The seizure occurred amid a shortage of foreign reserves on the balance sheet of the Argentine Central Bank, which helped lead to a further tightening of import controls by the government this week.

Looking to secure hard American dollars and taking advantage of subsidized residential energy rates, it was previously reported that many Argentines have been mining cryptocurrencies in their homes.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Marina Lammertyn

Marina Lammertyn is a CoinDesk reporter based in Argentina, where she covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. She holds no crypto.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.


Read more about