What Would the Re-Election of Alexander Lukashenko Mean for Crypto?
A contested election between president Alexander Lukashenko and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya leaves the future of crypto in Belarus in limbo.
Protests have erupted in Belarus following the countryâ€™s presidential election on Sunday, but the possible continued presidency of Alexander Lukashenko may be good news for crypto.
Lukashenko reportedly won re-election against opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in a landslide victory with more than 80% of the vote on Aug. 9. However, officials from many nations and within Belarus are condemning the election results as flawed, with reports of falsified ballots.Â
â€˜Europe’s last dictatorâ€™
The president of the eastern European nation has served since 1994, during which time he has made a number of statements in favor of blockchain technology since legalizing cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings in Dec. 2017.Â
In an April 2019 video of Lukashenko addressing a crowd, the president proposed using excess energy from the countryâ€™s first nuclear power plant â€” scheduled to be completed at the end of 2020 â€” to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and sell them.Â
His words were met with laughter from the audience, but Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano responded to them by saying â€œevery country will be mining and every country will be holding Bitcoin.â€�
Belarus has not been at the forefront of cryptocurrency and blockchain discussions around the world, but the nation has implemented a few legislative changes.Â
In March, a state authority in Belarus asked lawmakers for the authority to seize cryptocurrency from criminals. The countryâ€™s central bank is also reportedly setting up a program to allow commercial and state-owned banks to launch tokens and conduct business as crypto exchanges.
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