Uzbekistan Reportedly Looking to Launch National Cryptocurrency Mining Pool

Uzbekistan is reportedly looking to launch its own national cryptocurrency mining pool and a cryptocurrency exchange to accompany it, in bid to bring crypto miners out of the shadows and attract foreign investors.

According to news.bitcoin.com, a government body under the President of Uzbekistan, the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM), has revealed at a conference its plans for the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector this year.

The organization’s plans include the launch of a national mining pool to help consolidate the mining power of domestic and foreign miners in the country, and a cryptocurrency ensure to help miners sell their digital assets.

Local news outlets reported the country is launching its national mining pool to increase transparency and security for cryptocurrency miners, and to make it more attractive for foreign investors. The NAPM also reputedly claims the pool will improve energy efficiency.

The accompanying digital asset exchange, dubbed Uznex, is based in the country’s capital, Tashkent, and will be operated by the South Korean Kobea Group. It’s set to launch next week, on January 20. Its currently lists several trading pairs including ETH/BTC, ETH/BCH, and BTC/BCH. The trading platform’s website is still in beta, but it already notes users will be charged a fee to withdraw funds.

While the initiative seems to be pro-cryptocurrency, the news outlet points out there’s more to look into. As CryptoGlobe covered, last December an order that restricts how Uzbeks can trade cryptocurrency was issued, effectively restricting them to licensed exchanges only.

Another government order tripled electricity prices for domestic cryptocurrency miners, completely crushing their operations’ profitability.  This, unless they moved to the national mining pool, which would allow them to pay standard rates.

Vyacheslav Pak, the NAPM’s deputy director, was quoted as saying:

I think this will be one of the main measures to encourage participation in this pool.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

President Trump Wanted to 'Go After Bitcoin' in 2018, John Bolton Reveals

Michael LaVere
  • Former national security advisor John Bolton's claims that President Donald Trump wanted to "go after bitcoin" in May 2018. 
  • Bolton's new book details a tense exchange between President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over cracking down on crypto-assets.

Former national security advisor John Bolton said that President Donald Trump wanted to “go after bitcoin” in 2018. 

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, which received an advanced copy of Bolton’s tell-all book The Room Where it Happened,  President Trump wanted to crack down on bitcoin and cryptoassets in 2018. 

The book claims that President Trump told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to put pressure on the trading and selling of bitcoin. 

The report reads, 

Don't be a trade negotiator," Trump allegedly said, as was written in The Room Where It Happened, a copy of which was provided to the Washington Examiner. "Go after Bitcoin [for fraud].

According to Bolton, the exchange took place in May 2018 amidst a tense discussion over trade sanctions and tariffs placed on China. 

The report also notes the Trump administration’s history of skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, culminating in the release of new guidelines for the trading of crypto-assets earlier this year. 

Mnuchin said in a statement made in February, 

We want to make sure that technology moves forward, but on the other hand, we want to make sure that cryptocurrencies aren't used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts.

Featured image by Library of Congress on Unsplash