Laos to Mine Bitcoin and Repay National Debt

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Laos to mine bitcoin and repay national debt
Laos to mine bitcoin and repay national debt (Photo: Executium)

 

The government of Laos hopes to earn LAK two trillion in revenue from mining and trading the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Lao Minister of Finance, Bounchom Ubonpaseuth, told the National Assembly on Monday that mining the cryptocurrency could contribute to the LAK 28,963 billion in revenue projected for 2022, according to Vientiane Times.

The government of Laos authorized six companies to trade and mine cryptocurrencies in September this year, while relevant ministries were told to draft regulations governing the use of cryptocurrencies.

The companies that have been given the green light include Wap Data Technology Laos, Phongsubthavy Road & Bridge Construction Co., Sisaket Construction Company Limited, Boupha Road-Bridge Design Survey Co., Ltd., Joint Development Bank, and Phousy Group.

A number of ministries, led by the Ministry of Technology and Communications, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Energy and Mines, and the Ministry of Public Security will work with the Bank of Laos and Electricite du Laos to research and decide upon rules and regulations governing the use of cryptocurrencies in Laos.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bounchom said that this new source of revenue would give a 20 percent boost to projected revenue for 2022, which could then be spent on priority projects, including the payment of national debt.

With huge power production capacity from hydropower projects, Laos is well-placed to mine cryptocurrency, coming at a time when China has cracked down on crypto mining due to its volatility and connection with criminal activity.

China had been the world’s biggest producer of bitcoins, according to Financial Times, and had accounted for half the global output before instituting a ban on the practice.

While Laos has greenlit cryptocurrency mining operations for six companies, a ban on mining and trading remains in place for the general population.

According to a notice issued by the Bank of Laos in August, citizens of Laos are prohibited by law from purchasing or selling cryptocurrencies and must consider the risks associated with them before making any investment or purchasing such products.


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