Laos could fund “priority programs” with its cryptocurrency mining and trading pilot project. The program would increase government revenue by 20 percent in 2022.
Laos and mining: cryptocurrencies to fund priority programs
According to a November 2, 2021 article published on Malaysian media outlet The Star, the Laotian government’s pilot project on cryptocurrency mining and trading to capitalize on the departure of miners from China, could bring in about $194 million to the country.
The revenue will be generated by six companies participating in the pilot program – Wap Data Technology Laos, Phongsubthavy Road and Bridge Construction, Sisaket Construction Company Limited, Boupha Road-Bridge Design Survey, Joint Development Bank, and Phousy Group
Speaking at the National Assembly, Lao Finance Minister Bounchom Ubonpaseuth said that these revenues from cryptocurrency mining and trading, would increase the projected 2022 revenue by 20%, compared to the 2021 target. The additional revenue will be used to fund “priority programs,” such as increasing support allowances for civil servants and law enforcement, paying down the country’s debt, and funding actions to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
Lao central bank and cryptocurrencies: a law in the making
The authorizations for cryptocurrency mining issued by the Laotian government to the six companies integrating the pilot project, contrast with the position of the country’s central bank. The latter had repeatedly issued warnings to residents about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
However, the central bank is working with the Ministry of Technology and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Electricity to draft a law to regulate the mining and trading of crypto-currencies.
The context is certainly different, but Laos and El Salvador now have one thing in common: both want to get into cryptocurrency mining. The former wants to mine crypto-currencies to increase government revenue, the latter mines Bitcoin (BTC) using geothermal energy after giving legal tender to the dean of crypto-currencies.