Dash (DASH)—the 20th largest cryptocurrency by market cap—has jumped nearly five percent over the past 24 hours and is now trading for over $70.
The currency encountered its 2020 peak in mid-January. At that time, Dash was trading for well over $132, which shot up following an internet shutdown in the South American country of Venezuela, where Dash has proven to be popular amongst both citizens and top retailers alike.
By March 13—a low day for most cryptocurrencies—the asset had lost nearly $100 from its price and remained in a funk for about five days before finally showing signs of life and peeking above the $60 mark on March 19.
At $10 higher, Dash’s latest price increase correlates with news that Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and his superintendent of cryptocurrency, Joselit Ramírez, have been charged by the US with wide-ranging criminal charges related to drug trafficking.
The US says Maduro has worked for two decades with a leftist guerrilla organization known as FARC to “flood the United States with cocaine.” While Maduro primarily faces drug and weapons charges, Ramírez has been accused of conspiring to defraud the U.S. Treasury.
As the superintendent of cryptocurrency, Ramirez is largely responsible for activity surrounding Venezuela’s national digital asset, the Petro. The charges suggest the US believes the Maduro regime is using the Petro to launder funds or hide criminal interests.
The Petro’s price dropped after the announcement on Venezuelan exchanges, while Dash is traveling in the opposite direction. Between this and January’s internet shutdown, it sounds like all that’s needed to get Dash moving is some negative news centering on Venezuela.