According to a report, employees of the state-owned JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of potash fertilizers, were instructed by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to mine Bitcoin with replacement electricity.
Belarusian workers are not in demand abroad, except for agricultural professions, said the head of state. During the opening of the Petrikovsky mining and processing plant on August 27, the 66-year-old authoritarian leader pointed out existing areas where Belarusians could mine digital assets.
In April 2019, the president recommended using excess electricity from the country’s first nuclear power plant to mine and sell cryptocurrencies.
Belarus’ latest attempt to mine cryptocurrency
Belarus’ current efforts to generate cryptocurrencies are one of several attempts by the country and its president to get into the digital asset business. In February, the country’s Department of Energy announced it was investigating the risks and benefits of crypto-asset mining.
The newly opened Petrikovsky plant is now officially Belaruskali’s largest investment project. The US administration sanctioned him in mid-August, along with further punitive measures against President Lukashenko.
Last November, the Belarusian Bank, the country’s largest banking institution, launched a service that allows customers to buy and exchange digital currencies using a Visa card.
At a meeting with senior government officials in March this year, the Belarusian president indicated that he would strengthen the legal framework to restrict the use of cryptocurrencies, using the example of China’s experience in developing a digital society.
We have to understand, said Lukashenko, that they are nowhere waiting for us. Do something that runs on electricity. Finally, start mining bitcoins, or whatever they are called these days. Electricity is available across the country.