Belarus is now eyeing the potential of crypto mining to further push the country’s economic growth.

In an official announcement last Friday by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus, the country is now conducting a study on the pros and cons of crypto mining.

In a report Minister Viktor Karankevich stated:

“Cryptocurrency mining rapidly develops all over the world. China is the main leader in terms of the construction of mining pools. It accounts for about 65% of the bitcoin network mining capacity. This industry is developing in other countries, too – the USA, Canada, Russia.”

The minister also stated they are also considering the possible risk of crypto mining in the country.

“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.”

In November 2020, Belarus reportedly launched its own crypto exchange service through Belarusbank, the biggest state-owned bank in the country. The move was made to get around with sanctions using cryptocurrencies similar to Iran and Venezuela.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has always been in favor of blockchain technology.

In 2017, Lukashenko signed the decree “On the Development of the Digital Economy”. Under the decree,  cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO), and smart contracts are deemed legal. Its main goal was to attract more fintech businesses to the country. In the past few years, there has been significant growth in the number of crypto companies in the country. The High Technologies Park (HTP) has now become the Silicon Valley of Eastern-Europe. Undoubtedly, Belarus is fast becoming a major crypto hub in the region.

In 2019, he proposed to mine cryptocurrencies like BTC (bitcoin) using the country’s excess energy from the country’s first nuclear power plant.

Belarus will soon be joining other countries like China, Iceland, Georgia, Canada, United States, Russia, Switzerland, and Venezuela that have ventured into crypto mining.

Belarus, formerly known as Belorussia or White Russia, gained its independence on August 25, 1991. According to Wikipedia,  Belarus is the world’s 72nd-largest economy by GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), which in 2019 stood at $195 billion, or $20,900 per capita. 

The mining of cryptocurrencies like BTC (bitcoin) remains to be a lucrative market in the crypto industry. This is despite the growing concern over its effect on the environment. But there have been contradicting reports on how much damage it causes and facts have yet to be established.