Myanmar bans cryptocurrencies. Prison sentences of up to one year

The military junta in Myanmar recently drafted a bill seeking to ban the use of digital currencies and virtual private networks (VPNs) in the Southeast Asian country. The bill, which has already been signed by the permanent secretary of the junta for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Soe Thein, is still the subject of a request for comment until January 28 before being officially adopted. This new bill aims to digitally shut down Myanmar from the outside world, and citizens who disobey the laws would face different penalties, ranging from prison sentences of up to one year for trading cryptocurrencies and up to 3 years for using cryptocurrencies. VPNs, and fines of up to $ 2,800. Additionally, the bill will require service providers in Myanmar to disclose customer personal information, including name, address, login history, and more, whenever the government requests. This new development comes as a severe blow to the country's residents. Since the country suffered a military coup in early February 2020, the newly established Tatmadaw has made every effort to seal the country from any interaction with the outside world, banning Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms from social media.

To access these platforms, many in Myanmar have relied on VPNs. Several telecommunications companies had to pack their bags when the junta asked them to disclose their customers' personal data. Recall that in early December 2021, the shadow government of Myanmar had adopted USDT as the country’s official currency to circumvent restrictions imposed on its operations. The adoption, which had come as a welcome development by the majority of the country's residents, would have helped in the fundraising campaign aimed at fighting the current military junta regime in Myanmar. However, once adopted, this new bill would also restrict the use of this digital currency, USDT, once again hindering the activities of the shadow government. While the entire cryptocurrency industry is growing at a breakneck pace, with several large institutional investors entering the space, some countries have continued to hold a tight stance against the nascent industry. Recently, the Pakistani government revealed that it is still pushing for a total ban on cryptocurrencies and all related activities, including mining and trading. Russia's central bank has also proposed an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, citing volatility and other regulatory concerns.

by Alessandro Crea Wednesday 26 January 2022 14:00