Despite the country’s ban on cryptocurrencies in 2023, Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) will employ Tether (USDT) as a dollar intermediary for domestic transactions.
What is Tether?
Tether, like bitcoin, is a cryptocurrency. It is the world’s third-largest digital coin in terms of market capitalization. However, it is not the same as bitcoin or other virtual currencies. Tether is a kind of cryptocurrency known as a stablecoin. This is a type of digital currency that is linked to physical assets. Tether was developed with the purpose of being linked to the US dollar. While the value of other cryptocurrencies fluctuates, the price of the tether is usually equal to $1. This isn’t always the truth, and fluctuations in the value of tether have previously alarmed investors.
Why does Myanmar’s shadow government use Tether as an official currency?
Myanmar, a troubled Southeast Asian country, has had a turbulent political history. Cryptocurrencies are now helping to shape the country’s political future. Tether has been acknowledged as an official currency by Myanmar’s National Unity Government, which is governed by supporters of ousted and jailed leader Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s vital to remember that the NUG is a shadow government that has no authority over land or power in Myanmar. As a result, NUG’s acceptance of Tether differs from Myanmar’s adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
After the country’s first multi-party election in decades in 2015, Suu Kyi, the daughter of independence hero General Aung San, became the country’s de facto leader. The military, on the other hand, continued to wield significant power in a variety of fields. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy scored a resounding victory in Myanmar’s second election in 2020. The military, which backed the opposition, claimed that the election was rigged, but the country’s election body dismissed the charges. So Myanmar’s military staged a coup, took power, and imposed a one-year period of emergency. Suu Kyi is being held in an undisclosed location and is accused of breaking the country’s official secrets legislation, holding illegal walkie-talkies, and releasing information that could create fear or panic. Many members of the NLD have been placed under house arrest since the coup.
The coup has sparked widespread condemnation and protests, with hundreds of people slain. The National Union of Myanmar (NUG), which is affiliated with Suu Kyi, declared war on the military junta in September. The NUG is attempting to gather $1 billion to support this fight, which the junta claims are in violation of anti-terrorism legislation, and has begun to accept Tether as part of its fundraising efforts. The NUG has been attempting to raise funds by selling “Spring Revolution Special Treasury Bonds,” which are intended to be used as a direct lending tool. The bonds raised $9.5 million in the first 24 hours of sale, but there is no information on how much has been raised since then. Accepting Tether is also a direct violation of military policy. In May of last year, the government and its central bank, the Bank of Myanmar, declared cryptocurrencies illegal. As a result, Tether, the world’s most valuable stablecoin by market capitalization, has become a vehicle for Myanmar’s shadow government to resist military control.
Furthermore, Tether, like all cryptocurrencies, is unblockable by governments, and the peer-to-peer transfer structure provides more privacy than fiat currency. As a result, tracing and stopping Tether transfers to NUG would be impossible for the junta, letting the revolution prosper.