Myanmar government adopts Tether (USDT) as official currency

Tue 14 Dec 2021 ▪ 13h45 ▪ 3 min read — by Rudy Bauer

Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) will use Tether (USDT) as a dollar intermediary for domestic transactions, despite the country banning cryptocurrencies from 2020. This was reported by Bloomberg.

A group of supporters of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi have recognised Tether as legal tender. The National Unity Government has started fundraising for the campaign to overthrow the military regime.

Finance Minister Tin Tun Naing wrote on Facebook that the government is adopting USDT, backed by the US dollar, for domestic payments. He believes it will speed up trade processes and simplify service provision and payment systems.

Although NUG has no territorial or military control, it has gained some space in the global diplomatic sphere. In October, the European Parliament recognised the opposition government as an official authority in Myanmar. It’s worth noting that NUG does not only receive funding in cryptocurrency. It raised $9.5 million (~£7.2 million) in 24 hours from the sale of “Spring Revolution Special Treasury Bonds”. The sales were halted until 6th December due to high demand for the bonds. There’s no information on the final amounts of proceeds from the sale. The money helps the opposition government in its fight against the military, which carried out the coup.

Geopolitics and crypto

Myanmar’s Central Bank declared a ban on all cryptocurrencies in 2020, so the opposition government’s decision is illegal. The move was yet another in a series of decisions by individual governments to assess the potential benefits of introducing or creating cryptocurrencies as part of their financial system.

El Salvador pioneered the issue when it made Bitcoin legal tender alongside the dollar on 7th September. Prices in the country can now be set in Bitcoin and taxes can be paid in them. Cryptocurrency exchange is not subject to capital gains tax. Acceptance of Bitcoin for payment has become mandatory, and the government has also created an official cryptocurrency wallet, Chivo.

As you may recall, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently expressed its opinion on Bitcoin legalisation. According to IMF analysts, the Salvadoran authorities have done wrong by legalising the most capitalised cryptocurrency. The experts recommended that the authorities strengthen regulation and control over the new payment system.

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Rudy Bauer

Photographe, Vidéaste, webdesigner et enfin rédacteur pour CoinTribune: l'image, le digital et la blockchain sont mon dada.

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