In the middle of December of last year, Tether became an official currency in Myanmar’s shadow government. To tackle this, the country’s ruling junta advocated a cryptocurrency prohibition. Despite the fact that crypto payments are difficult to track, the prohibition may have been less successful than it could have been.
According to a spokesperson of the State Administration Council, the military administration intends to create a digital currency to facilitate local payments and boost the country’s economy, which has been shaky since the 2013 coup.
However, as Deputy Information Minister Major General Zaw Min Tun has stated, it is unclear whether the military administration will collaborate with local businesses to launch its digital currency.
Myanmar Struggles Under the Junta
According to World Bank predictions, Myanmar’s economy will contract by about 20% in the fiscal year ending September 2021. According to the World Bank, Myanmar is expected to grow by 1% in the fiscal year ending September 2022.
The country’s economy, financial system, and other critical socioeconomic infrastructure have been badly harmed as a result of the military takeover.
Myanmar’s junta took control early last year after a coup orchestrated by military generals and other authorities. Myanmar’s state councilor and de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was imprisoned by the militant group, sparking widespread protests and a harsh military crackdown that resulted in the deaths of over 1,500 people.
The exiled unity government of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has endorsed stablecoins. The USDT was formally acknowledged as the country’s currency in December. Of course, that was mostly for the goal of raising funds and demonstrating unequivocally that it opposes the military administration, which banned cryptocurrency in May 2020.
Learning the Intricacies
Suu Kyi’s followers formed the National Unity Government in an attempt to destabilize the junta (NUG). The group began to raise funds in order to depose the military regime in control. Suu Kyi has been charged with a multitude of offenses and is currently imprisoned.
So, on the surface, a central bank’s digital currency appears to be a fantastic idea, particularly in a nation like Myanmar, which may benefit from a financial device that allows the unbanked to gain access to the financial system.
The problem is that nearly no one in the Southeast Asian country wants to be identified. There’s a good explanation behind this.
“How many more civilians must Myanmar’s military imprison, torture, and kill before powerful states intervene to stop the junta’s flow of money and arms?” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, questioned the coup’s anniversary last week, citing “everyday atrocities.”
Meanwhile, the report did not specify if the digital currency, known as a CBDC, would represent the nation’s fiat currency in digital form. Win Myint, director-general of the Central Bank of Myanmar’s currency-management department, and his colleagues are just getting started with digital currencies.
“We’re still figuring out digital money… “We must evaluate both the benefits and the drawbacks,” he stated.
Not only Myanmar is considering launching its own digital money. Several significant countries, like China and India, have begun to investigate digital assets in order to strengthen their financial systems and have developed a roadmap for developing digital currency infrastructure in their respective jurisdictions.