The president of Belarus, Alexandra Lukashenko, has urged his citizens to stay in their home country and start mining Bitcoin instead of working in other overseas countries.
The president said that during the Petrikovsky mining and processing plant opening last week on Friday, August 27.
Lukashenko clarified that his nation enjoys adequate energy resources to deal with those electricity-intensive activities that China has famously banned in May.
“Create something with electricity. After all, start mining cryptocurrencies or whatever it’s called. There is enough electricity in the country.” Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko urged Belarusians to stay in the nation and seek alternative sources of income such as Bitcoin mining instead of moving to Germany or Poland to fill farming job positions. The Belarus president mentioned the already existing locations that Belarusians could use to conduct Bitcoin mining, urging citizens to use the country’s abandoned industrial sites to mine cryptocurrency rather than move overseas to look for low-paying jobs.
Lukashenko reiterated that Belarusians are not wanted abroad, saying that foreigners are only waiting for Belarusians to pick strawberries.
“We must understand; they are not waiting for us anywhere. And if someone is waiting…maybe on the plantations, as Ukrainians often say, the Poles there or the Germans have to squirm, pick strawberries,” he stated.
Lukashenko, who became president in 1994, has been favouring cryptocurrency mining for a while. Belarus legalised Bitcoin-related business activities, including crypto mining, with Lukashenko approving the decision in 2018. In April 2019, the president suggested using the surplus power produced by the nuclear power plant in the Grodno region for Bitcoin mining.
Lukashenko argued that by using abundant energy that could otherwise go to waste, Belarusians could harness crypto mining and further increase their profit-making opportunities.
Bitcoin’s Energy Problem
Lukashenko’s remarks come when crypto mining recently faced fierce criticism worldwide for its negative environmental impact.
In May, the Bitcoin price dropped below $30,000 for the first time since January, after surging to an all-time high of almost $65,00 in mid-April.
While Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweets were one of the key reasons for such a price dip, China’s massive crackdown on cryptocurrencies was another major reason. China’s government intensified the crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and trading to prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin mining can be a very lucrative business in places with abundant, cheap energy sources. For example, two kids in Texas are making over $30,000 a month with cryptocurrency mining.
Since China issued a countrywide ban on Bitcoin mining, miners are moving overseas, and Belarus might also become a viable option due to its cheap electricity sources.
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