Myanmar Military Government Proposes to Jail Digital Currency and VPN Users

By Terence Zimwara

Myanmar’s military-ruled government is proposing to enact laws that will see users of virtual private networks (VPN) and digital currencies being jailed for up to three years. In addition, offenders will be made to pay fines of up to $2,800.
Draft Bill Open for Comments
Myanmar’s military-ruled government is proposing to enact a law that outlaws the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and digital currencies in that country. Once enacted, violators of the new law not only face jail time but will be made to pay a fine.
According to a report published by The Register, individuals caught using VPNs will face a possible jail sentence of between one and three years. In addition, offenders may also be asked to pay a fine of $2,800 or five million Myanmar Kyats. Digital currency users, on the other hand, face a minimum jail term of six months and a maximum of up to one year. They will also be liable to pay fines of up to $2,800.
Besides targeting digital currency and VPN users, the military government’s proposed regulations will compel service providers to provide the personal information of users when requested to do so by authorities.
A draft bill signed by Soe Thein, the permanent secretary of the Military’s Transport and Communications Ministry, is currently open for comments. As suggested in the report, citizens will be allowed to comment on the draft until January 28.

Proposed Law Criticized
Reacting to the proposals, Alp Toker, the director of Netblocks — an internet monitoring company — is quoted in the report criticising the military government’s attempts to include provisions that were previously rejected by industry and civil society. The director said:
The proposed bill is draconian, even by the standards of the Burmese [Myanmar] military. The first version of the bill proposed in February 2021 was dropped after industry and civil society united to push back, but the military has been set on getting its way.
Toker argued that VPNs have been one of the ways Myanmar has stayed in touch with the rest of the world after the country’s military rulers that took power in February 2021, blocked social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
While Myanmar military rulers are likely to succeed in enacting the proposed laws The Register report quotes Toker warning that this decision is likely to backfire on the government.
“These are certain to have a chilling effect on political speech and human rights, but ultimately this is only going to turn public sentiment further against military rule.”

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Goldman Sachs Sees the Metaverse as $8 Trillion Opportunity

By Kevin Helms

Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has predicted that the metaverse could be an $8 trillion opportunity. Several others have similarly predicted that the metaverse is a multitrillion-dollar market.
Goldman Sachs Says the Metaverse Could Be an $8 Trillion Opportunity
Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has predicted that the metaverse could be an $8 trillion opportunity. Goldman Sachs’ analyst Eric Sheridan explained the bank’s metaverse prediction in a recent “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” episode, titled “Understanding the metaverse and web 3.0.”
He was asked about the evolution of the metaverse ahead and how big the potential opportunity could be. The analyst replied:
We think this could be as much as an $8 trillion opportunity on the revenue and monetization side.
“We look at the digital economy today, which is roughly about 20%, 25% of the global economy … We see the digital economy continuing to grow, and on top of that we see a virtual economy that will grow within and alongside this digital economy,” the analyst described.
“That’s how we came up with the number for various outcomes of anywhere from $2 trillion to $12 trillion, with $8 trillion at the midpoint of all potential outcomes,” he clarified.

Several people have estimated the potential size of the metaverse. Rival investment bank Morgan Stanley similarly predicted in November last year that the metaverse is an $8 trillion market opportunity.
In December, Bank of America’s strategist, Haim Israel, said that the metaverse is a massive opportunity where cryptocurrencies will be widely used as currencies. “I definitely believe this is a massive, massive opportunity,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Ark Investment Management, Cathie Wood, said the metaverse will be a multitrillion-dollar market, and crypto-asset manager Grayscale Investments said the metaverse is a potential $1 trillion business opportunity.

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Do you agree with Goldman Sachs about the metaverse? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Rich Dad Poor Dad’s Robert Kiyosaki: Bitcoin Is Crashing, Will Buy When BTC Tests $20K

By Kevin Helms

The author of the best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, says he will buy more bitcoin if and when the price of the cryptocurrency tests $20K. He noted that bitcoin’s price crashing is “great news,” adding that the “Time to get richer is coming.”
Robert Kiyosaki Plans to Buy More Bitcoin
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, tweeted Sunday about the price of bitcoin and when he will buy more BTC.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book co-authored by Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for over six years. More than 32 million copies of the book have been sold in over 51 languages across more than 109 countries.
Kiyosaki wrote:
Price of bitcoin [is] crashing. Great news. I bought BTC at $6K and $9K. I will buy more if and when BTC tests $20K. Time to get richer is coming.
He added that silver is the best bargain today, emphasizing, “Silver [is] still 50% below high.”

Kiyosaki has been warning about a major crash for many months. In December, he said: “Crash and depression [are] coming. Gold, silver, bitcoin, real estate will crash too.” In November, he warned about inflation, adding that he plans to buy “more gold, silver, bitcoin, ethereum, rental real estate, and oil.”
The famed Rich Dad Poor Dad author said in June last year that the largest bubble in the world’s history is getting bigger, tweeting: “Biggest crash in world history [is] coming … Waiting for bitcoin to drop to $24K.” In October, he advised investors to prepare for a giant crash followed by a depression, adding: “Be smart: Buy, gold, silver, bitcoin.”

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What do you think about Robert Kiyosaki’s bitcoin comments? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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US Still Dominates Bitcoin Mining Sector, 30-Day Stats Show Foundry USA Takes Top Pool Position

By Jamie Redman

Since the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) project updated its mining map in mid-July, the United States has continued to dominate in terms of the amount of hashpower worldwide. Moreover, data shows that Foundry USA has managed to command the top pool position with 755 bitcoin block rewards mined during the last 30 days.
The United States Commands a Large Concentration of Bitcoin Miners, 66 Exahash Recorded in the US on January 24
According to chainbulletin.com’s mining map, there is a large concentration of the Bitcoin network’s hashrate located in the United States. At the time of writing, data shows that 66.22 exahash per second (EH/s) or 35.4% of the global hashrate resides in the U.S., while 17.87 EH/s or 9.55% is located in Canada. Between Canada and the United States, the countries command 44.95% of the global hashrate.
Chainbulletin.com’s mining map: U.S. metrics on January 24, 2022.
Pool operators located in the U.S. include Binance USA, Btc.com, SBI Crypto US, Viabtc US, Poolin US, Slushpool US, Antpool US, F2pool USA, and Foundry USA. The 30-day statistics showing hashrate distribution show that the aforementioned pools command the top eight largest mining pools worldwide. Metrics indicate that Foundry USA found 755 blocks and captured the top pool position last month with 16.87% of the hashrate.
30 day pool distribution metrics on January 24, 2022.
Following Foundry USA’s 30-day stats was Antpool’s 659 blocks found or 14.72% of the BTC hashrate. F2pool found the same amount of blocks as Antpool last month and captured 14.72% of the network hashrate as well. Binance Pool came in fourth this past month with 11.55% of the hashrate or 517 blocks found. Lastly, the fifth-largest mining pool during the last 30 days was Poolin as it captured 511 block rewards or 11.42% of the global hashrate.

Bitcoin Mining Operations Are Located in Florida, New Jersey, California, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Texas
Chainbulletin’s mining map shows that F2pool has an operation in Florida and California, Btc.com has operations in Virginia, Colorado, and Washington. SBI Crypto US is located in Oregon and Foundry USA has a pool located in Ohio. Slushpool US has operations in Colorado, California, and New Jersey, while Antpool has operations in Texas. Furthermore, lots of smaller American bitcoin mining facilities are pooled together with larger U.S. mining pools.
Chainbulletin.com’s mining map: Worldwide metrics on January 24, 2022.
Many of these companies have bitcoin mining operations overseas as well. For instance, Huobi, Btc.com, and SBI Crypto have operations in Germany. Slushpool and Antpool have operations in Amsterdam and Slushpool and SBI are also operating in Japan. Okex has a bitcoin mining operation in Hong Kong, and Slushpool and Pooling have facilities in Singapore. Slushpool also has a residence in Russia according to Chainbulletin’s mining map data.
Despite the increased mining difficulty last week and the significant drop in BTC’s price, bitcoin miners worldwide have managed to keep the tempo high. At the time of writing, the global hashrate is running at 194 exahash per second (EH/s) in terms of computational power. 24-hour metrics show that Foundry USA has an even larger share of hashrate with 22.76% of today’s global hashrate or 42.42 EH/s.

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America, Amsterdam, Antpool, Binance Pool, Bitcoin, Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin mining, BTC, BTC Mining, BTC.com, california, Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Canada, CBECI, chainbulletin.com, colorado, Europe, F2Pool, Florida, Foundry, Foundry USA, Germany, Hong Kong, Huobi, Japan, New Jersey, North America, Ohio, Poolin, Sbi Crypto, Slushpool, Texas, United States, US Miners, Virginia, Washington
What do you think about the concentration of bitcoin miners located in the United States today? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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