Belarus is studying the cryptocurrency industry for a potential move into mining digital coins like Bitcoin (BTC).
The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus officially announced Friday that it is actively exploring the pros and cons of cryptocurrency mining. Minister Viktor Karankevich said that the crypto mining industry is rapidly growing all over the world in countries like China, the United States, Canada and Russia.
The minister went on to say that the government is considering tapping into the mining industry following an investigation of the potential risks and other factors:
“This is a new direction for us now. It is interesting but in order to get started with it, we have to conduct a detailed study of this issue, including an assessment of possible risks associated with this kind of activity. We’re on this.”
The Belarusian government has been exploring the question of crypto mining for a while. In April 2019, President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly proposed to deploy excess energy from the country’s first nuclear power plant to mine cryptocurrencies and sell them.
Belarus has been trying to position itself as a cryptocurrency-friendly country in recent years. In 2017, Lukashenko signed a decree on the development of the digital economy, legalizing major crypto-related activities like mining, buying and selling, and trading crypto. In 2019, Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, claimed that it was considering setting up a crypto exchange.