Myanmar Opposition Government Adopts USDT as Official Currency Despite Central Bank Ban

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Myanmar Opposition Government Adopts USDT as Official Currency Despite Central Bank Ban
Photo: Unsplash

The NUG in Myanmar announces that it will start accepting USDT to facilitate trade and payments, even as military government is still in control.

The National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar has announced that Tether’s USDT will now become an official currency for the Southeast Asian country. The NUG’s Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Investment posted the announcement, written in Burmese, on Facebook on December 13th.

According to a Bloomberg report, the NUG will start accepting USDT, especially for its current fundraising political campaign. The NUG, formally viewed by the European Union as the sole legitimate entity of Myanmar, is looking to overthrow the nation’s current military regime. The shadow government aims to generate about $1 billion via the sale of NUG-issued bonds. In addition, it also raised about $9.5 million from the Myanmar diaspora through the sale of “Spring Revolution Special Treasury Bonds”.

According to the NUG Finance Minister, the incorporation of USDT is to make for a quick and seamless means of sending and receiving funds. In the minister’s own words, this “domestic use [is] to make it easy and speed up the current trade, services, and payment systems.” In addition, it also makes sent funds less susceptible to exposure and seizure by the current military regime.

Notably, the NUG’s incorporation of USDT as an official currency for local use also undermines Myanmar’s current crypto ban. In May last year, the Central Bank of Myanmar imposed a ban on crypto transactions in the country. This may have been an effort by the ruling regime to forestall the fundraising process that is currently gaining ground.

Myanmar Recognizes USDT amid Political Turmoil

The Southeast Asian country is currently embroiled in an internal tussle for power, which has resulted in a full-blown crisis. In fact, the NUG’s key proponent Aung San Suu Kyi, was arrested on account of this early in the year. This came about after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the 2020 Myanmar general election. What followed was a military coup d’etat that sought to suppress the election result and reinstate Myanmar’s military leaders. Furthermore, Suu Kyi, who has been chairperson of the NLD since 2011, saw several charges filed against her. This sparked protests within the country and abroad, with the UN, EU, and US decrying her arrests and subsequent sentencing. The international community branded Suu Kyi’s trial as a political motivation.

On the 6th of December, Suu Kyi received a four-year jail sentence on dissent charges filed against her. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s military junta continues to rule with an ironclad grip. The junta controls the country’s banks, internet, and several other vital channels.

The French Senate and the European parliament now officially recognize the NUG as the official government of Myanmar. However, the US is yet to do so, even as fresh concerns may arise from the NUG’s decision to adopt the Tether stablecoin.

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Tolu Ajiboye
Author Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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