Hydropower-rich Laos pushes into crypto as it authorises mining and trading


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Laos has approved the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies in a policy shift by debt-bearing Southeast Asian countries. Crackdown on digital currency mining In China.

Analysts said the move was a logical step for 7m, an inland Communist-controlled country that creates surplus hydropower, but criminal organizations could seek to benefit from trade. I warned.

Cryptocurrency pushes are showing a rough look after the country’s central bank warned banks, businesses and people about the use of cryptocurrencies last month.

This week’s Prime Minister’s Office said six companies, including the construction group and banks, were empowered to start mining and trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Government ministries will work with the Bank of Laos and the Lao Electric Power Company, a national utility, to regulate the industry. Laos Times Report.. The results of the investigation and consultation will be discussed at a government meeting later this month.

As Laos fights the loss of tourism revenue caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the transition to cryptography takes place. Large amount of debt Build a dam on the Mekong River and its tributaries.

David Tuck, a partner of Lyriant Advisory, a Bangkok-based business intelligence consultant, said: “And one of the key requirements for crypto mining is a lot of power.”

Using hydropower to mine cryptocurrencies could allow Laos to market the industry as “carbon neutral” when the cryptocurrency’s carbon footprint is exposed to growing international criticism. Maybe, Tuck added.

Laos’ mountainous terrain and distance from the harbor have long hindered its development, with authorities from hydropower to casinos to casinos. Railroad From Kunming to Vientiane, China, it is scheduled to open in December. The government has talked about promoting mining projects as a source of income as it is trying to repay the country’s nearly $ 14 billion in debt.

However, northwestern Laos forms part of the Golden Triangle, a region adjacent to Myanmar and Thailand, which are famous for drug production and trafficking. Rapidly increased During a pandemic.

The Lao government has recently vowed to step up its efforts to combat money laundering after being placed under the supervision of the Task Force on Financial Activities, the United States and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Professor Zachary Abuza of the National University of War in Washington, who specializes in Southeast Asia, said: “It is a brutal understatement to say that the Lao financial system is immature, and we need to worry about whether they are plunging into it.”

2018 US Treasury Sanctions taken It was a multinational criminal organization with almost no casinos in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone of Laos, run by the Hong Kong-based Kings Romance Group.

Washington said the network has spread throughout Southeast Asia and is involved in “horrible illegal activities” such as trafficking in persons, child prostitution, and trafficking in drugs and wildlife.

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