Protests have erupted in Belarus following the re-election of the country’s authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko, who reportedly won against opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in a landslide victory with more than 80% of the vote on Aug. 9. But officials both inside and outside of Belarus are condemning the election results as falsified.
The notorious Belorussian president has filled his role since 1994, but he has most recently made a number of statements in favor of blockchain technology. Lukashenko legalized cryptocurrency and ICOs in Dec. 2017.
In an April 2019 video of Lukashenko addressing a crowd, he proposed using excess energy from the country’s first nuclear power plant — scheduled to be completed at the end of 2020 — to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and sell them.
His words were met with laughter from the audience, but Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano responded by saying, “Every country will be mining and every country will be holding Bitcoin.”
A Belarusian state investigative authority asked lawmakers in March for the authority to seize cryptocurrency from criminals. The country’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.
Despite the inevitable complications from “Europe’s last dictator” continuing his reign, the country seems ready to take crypto mainstream within its borders.