Manning: Govt not supporting Bitcoin mining in T&T

Manning: Govt not supporting Bitcoin mining in T&T

The Gov­ern­ment is not sup­port­ing Bit­coin min­ing in T&T at this time, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Fi­nance Bri­an Man­ning said yes­ter­day.

Man­ning con­firmed the sit­u­a­tion fol­low­ing a query in yes­ter­day’s Sen­ate by In­de­pen­dent Sen­a­tor Am­ri­ta De­onar­ine. She had cit­ed April state­ments by the Trade Min­istry on re­view­ing leg­isla­tive and pol­i­cy frame­works to un­der­stand pos­si­bil­i­ties for a cryp­tocur­ren­cy sec­tor.

But Man­ning said, “Cryp­tocur­ren­cies, Bit­coin be­ing the most pop­u­lar, are com­plete­ly bereft of in­trin­sic val­ue and are high­ly spec­u­la­tive in na­ture.

“In fact, Bit­coin has raised fi­nan­cial con­cerns for gov­ern­ments world­wide and de­spite its use in some coun­tries for buy­ing goods and ser­vices, there are no uni­form in­ter­na­tion­al laws that reg­u­late Bit­coin.”

He said cryp­tocur­ren­cy is al­so not sup­port­ed or backed by Cen­tral Banks, nor are cryp­to de­posits in­sured. The spec­u­la­tive na­ture of the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy al­so leads to ex­tra­or­di­nary price volatil­i­ty and ex­treme un­cer­tain­ty in terms of its as­set val­ue and price sta­bil­i­ty, he added.

“Fur­ther, cryp­tocur­ren­cy ex­changes are prone to cy­ber­at­tacks while the cryp­tocur­ren­cies them­selves show ev­i­dence of price ma­nip­u­la­tion. Cryp­to has al­so been used to fa­cil­i­tate a host of il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing mon­ey laun­der­ing, ex­tor­tion, il­lic­it drug trad­ing, ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing, and hu­man traf­fick­ing,” he said.

Man­ning said cryp­tocur­ren­cies have al­ready been banned or re­strict­ed ei­ther whol­ly or par­tial­ly in over 100 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Chi­na, In­dia, Co­lum­bia, In­done­sia, Iran, Iraq, Guyana, Al­ge­ria, Egypt and Qatar. “Con­sid­er­ing all that’s known about cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the ex­ces­sive and waste­ful use of tax­pay­er-sub­sidised elec­tric­i­ty in­volved in Bit­coin min­ing, the Gov­ern­ment is not sup­port­ing Bit­coin min­ing in T&T at this time,” he said.

Man­ning said all who ap­proached Gov­ern­ment were in­formed of that.

Hinds on repa­tri­a­tions

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Fitzger­ald Hinds replied on the rea­sons for repa­tri­at­ing 35 Venezue­lans who may have wit­nessed the in­ci­dent in­volv­ing the death of Venezue­lan ba­by Yaelvis San­toyo Sara­bia in Feb­ru­ary.

Hinds said they con­tra­vened the law, as they didn’t pos­sess valid pass­ports or valid and sub­sist­ing visas.

An ex­er­cise was con­duct­ed by the T&T Coast Guard and the Venezue­lan Em­bassy to repa­tri­ate them.

Hinds said four oc­cu­pants of the ves­sel the ba­by was on, were in­ter­viewed by TTPS of­fi­cers and TTPS in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to that in­ci­dent con­tin­ues.


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