VIENTIANE, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government will suspend business operations, impose fines, and even revoke licenses of companies that fail to make progress or fulfill agreements made in relation to cryptocurrency mining and trade.
To have new revenue streams, the Lao government authorized 15 companies to pilot a digital asset business involving cryptocurrency mining and trade in these currencies, the Lao People's Army News reported on Thursday.
At the ongoing sixth ordinary session of the National Assembly's ninth legislature, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone admitted that two companies had made no progress. Some were slow to pay fees owed to the state, while many investors had made progress and generated considerable revenue for the state budget.
Unpaid fees amounted to 20 million U.S. dollars. The payment was slow due to the fact that the value of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) on the global market dropped by more than 50 percent compared to the value at the time when the Lao government set the fees, he said.
As it is a negotiable fee in accordance with the global price, consideration was made and the government decided to reduce the unpaid fees by 50 percent.
"With that decision, the companies concerned began paying their fees and it is expected that all the fees will be fully paid by the end of 2023," said Sonexay.
The Lao government is closely monitoring and following up the digital asset business.
Companies found to be making no progress or failing to fulfill agreements signed with the government could see their business operations suspended, fined, and even have their licenses revoked in accordance with relevant laws, Sonexay warned. ■