The dominoes are falling as more nation-states back bitcoin and crypto.
- Belarus Takes One More Step Towards Crypto
- History of Crypto Support by President Lukashenko
- The Irony of ‘Autocrat Adoption’
Belarus Takes One More Step Towards Crypto
Belarus, positioned just west of Russia and east of Poland, adopted crypto today. A decree from President Alexander Lukashenko initiates a legal framework around crypto to further regulate and thus adopt the asset class in the eastern European nation.
BREAKING: 🇧🇾 Belarus President signs decree in support of the free circulation of #cryptocurrencies.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) February 15, 2022
“On February 14, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 48 “On the register of addresses (identifiers) of virtual wallets and features of the circulation of cryptocurrency.”
The official government memo titled Decree no. 48 states that Belarus is “consistently developing the legal field for regulating activities related to digital assets, and, unlike many other states, allows the free circulation of digital currencies.” The rule set up in the decree is geared towards protecting crypto holders “from the loss of property and prevent unintentional involvement in activities prohibited by law”.
The crux of the memo is to form a register of addresses of crypto wallets that are used in illegal activity. While this move may sound like some sort of a regulatory burden, this type of action actually reaffirms Belarusian commitment to allow for the digital asset class to exist within the nation’s legal framework.
History of Crypto Support by President Lukashenko
As further evidence, Lukashenko urged the government itself to mine crypto using excess power in September of 2021. He went as far as to call on workers to move into crypto mining rather than pursue “low-paying farming positions abroad.” He stated that Belarus has enough energy to mine and said “build something based on electricity”, referring to crypto mining.
The government has even given tax breaks to those involved in digital assets going all the way back to 2018. In Lukashenko’s statement that Bitcoin mining farms could harness the surplus power produced by the nuclear power plant, his thinking is in line with the most ardent bitcoin acolytes, who deem Bitcoin’s use of energy to be actually a net positive.
The Irony of Autocrat Adoption
As crypto expert Nic Carter has noted on many occasions: “Bitcoin mining enhances the resiliency and capacity of the [US] grid.” It is quite interesting that the bitcoin and freedom-loving Americans like Nic Carter would be aligned more with Lukashenko than with Biden; more with Bukele than with Trudeau.
However, it appears that countries seeking to exit dollar-based hegemony are usually those pigeonholed as authoritarian. China is the exception, which just recently banned bitcoin. Still, the western world and the democracy supporting nations whose officials sit on the IMF and World Bank councils have actually been less inclined to support bitcoin, as they likely feel it would be a threat to said hegemony.
This is nowhere more evident than in El-Salvador where, after accepting Bitcoin as legal tender, has faced an onslaught of pressure from the IMF, World Bank, and the western world. This could lead to nations that coalesce around Bitcoin, and those that don’t. Considering bitcoin is deemed the paragon of financial sovereignty and freedom, it would be quite ironic if Belarus, Russia, and other “autocratic” nations become BTC’s best buds.
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