The government of Laos gave the go-ahead for six companies to start mining cryptocurrencies in the country as part of a pilot program, the Laotian Times reported.
- Laos is also looking to draft regulations on cryptocurrencies, according to the report, which cited a government notice. Several ministries will be working on a consultation paper and presenting their findings to the prime minister and deputy prime minister at a Sept. 16-17 meeting.
- The six companies receiving authorization to mine are: Wap Data Technology Laos, Phongsubthavy Road & Bridge Construction, Sisaket Construction, Boupha Road-Bridge Design Survey, Joint Development Bank and Phousy Group.
- The crypto mining exodus from China has created opportunity in the sector for other countries in Asia and beyond.
- Laos is one of the smallest and poorest countries in the region, with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $2,630 as of 2020, according to the World Bank. That compares with more than $10,500 for China.
- But the country is trying to become the “Battery of Southeast Asia” by building dozens of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River. Cheap hydroelectric power in large part paved China’s way to becoming the world’s biggest bitcoin miner before the crackdown by the Chinese government.