China’s crypto ban a big boon for little Laos


BANGKOK – After China’s recent cryptocurrency crackdown, impoverished Laos is now allowing Bitcoin mining, fueled by abundant hydroelectric power from the Mekong River and shrugging off US warnings of disastrous environmental problems.

The surprise announcement on September 9 by the Lao Prime Minister’s Office, allowing the creation of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain-based currencies, makes Laos the only Southeast Asian country to officially permit and participate in crypto mining.

China had allowed Bitcoin miners to feed on its cheap electricity for several years – mostly in the provinces of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Sichuan and Yunnan – but shut down their systems in May by tightening regulations.


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