Will Belarus Become a Bitcoin Mining Hub?
Since China banned Bitcoin (BTC) mining in most of its territory, many countries are trying to reclaim some of this flourishing activity. Between the United States and Kazakhstan, several countries hitherto ignored by minors are trying to get out of the game.
This is particularly the case of Belarus, which could adopt in the near future measures to develop the cryptocurrency mining industry on its territory, according to the statements of the president of the country.
RBC News Agency reports that at a meeting held at state-owned JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest producers of potassium fertilizers, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko urged employees to use excess electricity available to mine cryptocurrencies.
The president also said that Belarus is endowed with enough electricity resources to power large infrastructure dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. He also mentioned the possibility of rehabilitating abandoned industrial sites, which could be exploited to earn new income through mining:
“We must understand, they are not waiting for us anywhere […] Build something based on electricity. Go ahead, start mining cryptocurrency or whatever it’s called. There is enough electricity in the country, ”he added.
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A country already crypto-friendly for a few years
This statement is not so surprising considering that Belarus legalized all cryptocurrency-related activities in March 2018. In April 2019, Alexander Lukashenko even suggested that Bitcoin mining farms could be installed in parallel with the nuclear power plant in the Grodno region. In addition, all income generated by cryptocurrency mining activities is tax exempt until 2023.
Despite this positive vision of the Belarusian president with regard to cryptocurrency mining, he did not specify whether subsidies could be allocated to individuals wishing to actually engage in such an activity.
Besides the initial investment, the operating costs of a mining farm are relatively high. Like other jurisdictions, the Belarusian government will have to release funds to truly attract minors, or offer them preferential tariffs on electricity.
Regardless, Belarus is very crypto-friendly, and some institutions have already taken the plunge. This is notably the case of Belarusbank, the country’s largest bank which manages more than $ 13.5 billion in assets (according to 2017 figures). In November 2020, the bank indeed launched a cryptocurrency buying and selling service for its clients, both institutional and private.
All of these peculiarities clearly indicate that Belarus may have the capacity to become a full-fledged crypto-nation in some time.
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About the author: Clément Wardzala
Editor-in-chief of Cryptoast, I discovered Bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2017. Since then, I have endeavored to share qualitative content so that the sector is democratized among everyone.
All articles by Clément Wardzala.