Myanmar’s Democratic Govt. to Launch its Own CBDC
- The military government of Myanmar announced plans to issue a CBDC for local payments in Febraury this year.
- The decision raised human rights concerns across the world as the Junta is known to be hostile to its citizens.
- Myanmar’s economy hit a rock following the military’s ascension to power in 2021.
The Democratic government of Myanmar, which the military Junta overthrew, has announced plans to launch its own Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC, months after the military announced a similar plan.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Tin Tun Naing, the Minister of Planning for the ousted National Unity Government of Myanmar, requested “U.S. blessing” to spend the nation’s reserves, which were frozen by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
According to Bloomberg, the funds Naing references have been held in banks in Singapore, Thailand, and Japan and might run into billions of dollars. The minister questioned the possibility of the US handing these assets directly to the National Unity Government. However, Naing noted that these assets might be used as reserves to support the virtual currency of the alternative central bank in exile. The funds, according to Naing, are required to help the nation’s revolutionary activities.
The National Unity Government was made up of lawmakers elected in the country’s 2020 elections. However, their administration was cut short long before it could carry out its agenda as the country’s military rose to grab power in February 2021.
The exiled National Unity Government has sought and tried different fund-raising techniques, including auctioning buildings owned by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing. The democratic government also issued revolutionary bonds for financial support.
Before being overthrown by the military, cryptocurrency and digital assets had an unclear standing in Myanmar. The Central Bank of Myanmar threatened severe measures against individuals in Myanmar caught transacting in digital assets. The punishments included a fine or imprisonment. However, in 2021, the National Unity Govenrment announced that it would recognize Tether (USDT) as an official currency.
The military government leaned towards digital asserts early in its regime. In February, a spokesperson for the military confirmed the nation’s plans to issue a digital currency for local payments. According to the official, this was done to increase economic activity and the adoption of emerging technologies.