Georgia Still Believes in Bitcoin Despite Cryptocurrency Markets Slump
At a time when the price of bitcoin and other cryptoassets are being heavily pummeled by the bears, with several businesses closing shop completely, Georgia still believes in cryptos and is doing everything within its powers to become a blockchain technology hub, reported the New York Times on January 22, 2019.
Georgia’s Doors Wide Open to Cryptocurrency Miners
Georgia, a tiny nation of less than 4 million people located in Eurasia is becoming a blockchain/cryptocurrency mining hotspot.
Per sources close to the matter, Bitfury, a U.S.-based blockchain technology firm founded in 2011, hds formed a somewhat symbiotic relationship with Georgia long before the cryptocurrency moonshot of 2017 and the proliferation of distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Reportedly, in 2015, a former prime minister of the state loaned Bitfury $10 million to enable it to set up its mining operations in the region, while the ruling Dream party sold a massive 45 acres of land to the firm for only $1.
Though the move may have appeared crazy in the eyes of critics at the time, it has however proven to be a forward-thinking maneuver in just four years along the line, as the entire Georgian nation is now reaping the dividends of blockchain technology.
Bitfury has singlehandedly migrated nearly the entire Georgian land registry to the blockchain, making the region one of the first to make use of DLT in a real-world application. Furthermore, there are also indications that the nation’s tax system will soon be powered by blockchain technology.
Evolving into a Blockchain Hub, Mixed Reactions
Though its blessed with various natural resources including rivers and lakes, Georgia is not relaxing on its oars, as authorities have made it clear they’re focused on transforming the country into a DLT and digital assets hotbed through amenable policies just like Malta, Liberland and other states that have embraced the nascent technologies.
“The economy’s digital transformation is our highest priority. We’re doing everything we can to make this dream a reality,” declared Georgia’s economy minister, George Kobuila.
Sadly, some lawmakers in the region, including Zurab Tchiaberashvili, has criticized the government for being overly generous to bitcoin-linked firms, especially Bitfury, arguing that such generosity deprives residents of “millions in tax revenue.”
While large firms such as Bitfury are still generating decent revenues from their bitcoin mining operations in Georgia, thanks to the abundance of cheap electricity and near-zero tax rates, a good number of individuals have stopped mining cryptos in the area due to the current market conditions.