Government Issues Regulations for Cryptocurrency Miners and Platforms in Laos

Laos has issued regulations on cryptocurrency mining and trading (Photo: Brian Wangenheim)
Laos has issued regulations on cryptocurrency mining and trading (Photo: Brian Wangenheim)

The government of Laos has issued new regulations governing cryptocurrency mining operations and trading platforms.

The new regulations specify the types of businesses that can be operated and measures for their use, including digital asset transactions in the country to ensure that they are safe, reliable, and efficient.

According to a notice issued on Tuesday by Minister of Technology and Communications, Dr. Boviengkham Vongdara, the regulations are aimed at protecting the legitimate rights and interests of both operators and users.

The notice states that companies mining or operating cryptocurrency trade platforms are required to be wholly Lao-owned with stable financial status, and must have sufficient capital to operate a cryptocurrency trading business.

In addition, a security deposit of USD 5 million must be deposited with the Bank of Laos by any company applying to act as a platform for the trade in cryptocurrency.

The regulations were issued after the government authorized six companies to trial mining and trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Under the new regulations, cryptocurrency mining operations must use no less than ten megawatts of electricity, with 115kV or 230 kV of power provided under a six-year extendable contract, contingent upon the capacity of Electricite du Laos to provide power.

To encourage cryptocurrency mining, the government will exempt electricity transmission fees and import taxes for Electricite du Laos.

Cryptocurrency mine operators will pay taxes as a lump sum, determined by the amount of power used, with USD 1 million payable for every 10 megawatts used.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency trading platforms will be charged a one-time fee for a cryptocurrency trading license charged at USD 1 million, with cryptocurrency trading enterprises paying tax at a rate of 15% fee earned from buyers and sellers.

According to the regulations, the Ministry of Energy and Mines must ensure that enough energy is available to meet society’s electrical needs, with crypto miners paying lower electricity rates during the rainy season.

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