- Laos is reportedly expected to earn approximately $190 million in 2022 from bitcoin mining activities in the country.
- The new revenue source would contribute to the $2.8 billion total domestic revenue projected for 2022, the Lao Minister of Finance said.
- The government reportedly plans on employing the new revenue stream's profits on increasing officials' allowances, paying off debts, and pandemic-related expenditures.
The government of Laos, a Southeastern Asian country located between Thailand and Vietnam, reportedly expects to earn around $190 million in revenue from bitcoin mining next year, according to a report by Cambodian newspaper Phnom Penh Post.
Total Lao domestic revenue, which reportedly accounts for 15% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to amount to approximately $2.8 billion in 2022, the Minister of Finance reportedly told the National Assembly.
"Presenting the [National Assembly's] 2022 draft budget plan to the session, the minister said the new source of revenue would increase the projected revenue for next year by 20 per cent compared to the target for 2021," per the report.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, the Lao government plans on employing the new revenue stream's proceeds on "priority" programs.
"These include increasing supporting allowances to cover the living expenses of officials and security force personnel, expenditure on efforts to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak, and the payment of debts," the report said.
In total, the Lao government is expected to spend around $3.36 billion over the next calendar year, amounting to 18.14% of the country's GDP.
The new revenue stream comes after lawmakers authorized six companies to run a pilot program to mine and trade bitcoin in Laos. However, the country's central bank has had negative stances toward Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past. According to the Phnom Penh Post report, a group of banks and technology and finance regulators in Laos is now working together to draft legislation relating to bitcoin mining and trading.