According to the office of the Laos Prime Minister, six companies including a construction group and a bank have been authorized to do cryptocurrency trading and mining operations in Ethereum, Bitcoin and Litecoin, Bitcoin.com reports.
The government would then work towards regulating these activities with Bank of Laos, and Électricité du Laos, the national power utility, as reported in Financial Times.
The legalization move comes in opposition to the contradictory policies and warnings issued by Laos Central Bank to banks, people and companies against using cryptocurrencies.
Laos has legalized a series of cryptocurrency mining and trading projects in the country for generating alternative sources of revenue to make up for the losses suffered by the tourism industry due to Covid-19. The pandemic affected the demand for the hydropower industry too, which is already debt – laden for building dams on the Mekong river and its tributaries.
Laos’ energy consumption is much lesser than what it produces. This makes it conducive for the country to carry out crypto mining without disturbing the power grid.
Concerns have also been raised over the possible misuse of crypto trading in Laos as it was under international scanner and US sanctions for increased narcotics production and trafficking. The Laos government had since pledged to put an end to money- laundering.
Laos could also seek to benefit from the recent crackdown on cryptocurrency in China by
attracting some of China’s ousted miners, Bitcoin.com reported.
(For the latest crypto news, investment tips and real-time price updates, follow our Cryptocurrency page.)