Laos Plans Crackdown on Non-Compliant Crypto Firms

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 Lao government has announced plans to take stern action against companies that fail to make progress or comply with agreements related to cryptocurrency mining and trade.

This action follows the government’s approval of 15 companies to initiate a digital asset business encompassing cryptocurrency mining and trade, two of which have displayed no progress, and several others have been sluggish in settling their fees to the state.

The outstanding fees currently total USD 20 million, with the government attributing the delayed payments to the recent depreciation in the value of cryptocurrency. In response, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone announced during the ongoing 6th Ordinary Session of the 9th National Assembly Legislature, taking place from October 31 to November 21, that the Lao government has opted to cut the outstanding fees by 50 percent.

“With that decision, the companies concerned began paying their fees, and it is expected that all the fees will be fully paid by the end of 2023,” said the Prime Minister, as reported by Xinhua News Agency.

PM Sonexay has warned that the government will suspend, fine, and revoke the licenses of inactive miners while continuing to monitor the industry and take action against those not complying with the law.

In August, Electricite du Laos (EDL), the state-run power company, also announced that it will no longer supply electricity to cryptocurrency mining operations in Laos, primarily due to mounting debts from cryptocurrency mining businesses.