• Lukashenko Encourages Belarusians to Mine Cryptocurrency Instead of Picking Strawberries Abroad

  • President Alexander Lukashenko has recommended workers to stay in their home nation rather than emigrate to Poland and Germany to take low-paying farming jobs. The Belarusian leader mentioned an alternate source of income, stating that Belarus has enough electricity to enable cryptocurrency mining.

    Lukashenko urges Belarusians to build mining farms rather than work on foreign farms.

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pushed employees to mine cryptocurrencies during a meeting at the state-owned firm JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of potash fertilizers. Belarusian labor, with the exception of farm workers, are not in demand overseas, according to the president of state.

    “We must realize that they are not waiting for us anywhere. And if they are, it might be on the plantations,” Lukashenko said in a video released by the ул ервoо Telegram account. Forklog and the Russian business news portal RBC both cited his speech. Guest laborers are “squirming” in Poland’s strawberry plantations, according to Lukashenko.

    The Belarussian president paid a visit to Pietrykaw, a town in the southern Gomel area, where he also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a mining and processing factory. The president mentioned in his speech that the area has a lot of idle industrial sites and urged his audience to use the available space and abundant electricity to develop greenhouses, for example. He went on to say:

    Make anything out of electricity. Finally, begin mining bitcoin, or whatever it is called. The country has an adequate supply of electricity.

    With a presidential decree that went into effect in March 2018, Belarus authorized crypto-related business activity, including mining. In April 2019, Alexander Lukashenko proposed that bitcoin farms be erected near the nuclear power station in Grodno, near the Lithuanian border, to use the excess electrical energy generated by the NPP.

    Belarusbank, the country’s largest financial institution, launched a service in November last year that allows users to buy and trade digital currencies using a Visa card. However, during a meeting with senior government officials in March of this year, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko hinted at tightening the legal framework to control the use of cryptocurrencies, using China’s experience in building a digital society as an example.

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