The latest Southeast Asian nation to adopt cryptocurrency is Laos, opening up six domestic trading and mining firms
A recent report from Messari Crypto Research has found that six out of the top ten largest crypto unicorns are located in Asia, with the vast majority of futures being placed there. As well as that we know that around 60% of Bitcoin mining is taking place in China. Asia’s dominance of the cryptocurrency market is undeniable and is now stretching even further into neighbouring country Laos.
Laos ranked as the 115th poorest country in the world in 2020 and this may be part of the governments’ motivation to give the go-ahead for six domestic firms to trade and mine cryptocurrencies. Recently, El Salvador green-lit Bitcoin to become legal tender with the motivation of bringing economic prosperity to its citizens, which may be a similar motivation to that of the Laos government.
What will happen in Laos?
The Laos government has licensed these companies; Wap Data Technology, Phongsubthavy Road & Bright Construction, Sisaket Construction, Boupha Road-Bridge Design Survey, Joint Development Bank, and Phousy Group, according to Laos media sources. Although they’re not the classic crypto-based names, they are major companies within the nation and will move forward to provide various digital services.
The announcement came from a pro-government newspaper, The Laotian Times, which claims that only the Joint Development Bank will offer direct crypto-financial support, while many construction companies will focus on Bitcoin mining.
The aim of the project is to allow the six companies to start mining and trading digital assets Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The government has elected a commission led by the Ministry of Technology and Communication to lay out a regulatory plan for cryptocurrency trading in the country before the companies begin working.
Like many other Asian countries, the government has continually warned against trading digital currencies but now seems to be adjusting its position to benefit from using them. This may coincide with China’s ban on Bitcoin mining in relation to excessive power usage. Many of those mining communities have looked elsewhere to work, so one might speculate about a relationship between these two situations.
Either way, Laos offers a huge amount of clean energy through its hydropower projects and would certainly offer a safe haven to miners.