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Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has called on the country’s workers to mine cryptocurrencies rather than “pick strawberries” on farms abroad.
Speaking at the opening of the Petrikovsky mining and processing plant on August 27th, Lukashenko advocated for the more efficient use of energy, of which he said “here is enough in the country.”
Pietrykaw, Lukashenko stated in his address, has multiple abandoned industrial sites that could be used for the the construction of greenhouses — or cryptocurrency mining.
“They’re not waiting for us anywhere […] We have a lot of sites here in Pietrykaw to create something based on electricity. In the end, start mining cryptocurrencies or whatever it’s called,” Lukashenko’s speech was quoted by Russian media outlet RBC; rather than working abroad on farms for low payment rates, he indicated workers should consider staying at home and getting into the mining business.
Belarus legalized Bitcoin- and cryptocurrency-related activities in 2018; there is currently one registered exchange in the country. In March this year, however, Lukashenko reportedly said in a meeting with senior government officials that the Belarusian central bank and National Control Committee should “clarify some regulatory norms and establish necessary control” over the industry.
In the meeting, Lukashenko also announced plans for the the establishment of a government regulation body to oversee the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. For the structure of such an entity, he proposed to look towards China and its approach to a broadly digitized societal infrastructure.