Jack Dorsey notes lobbying efforts to get Ethiopian gov’t to embrace Bitcoin

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Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square and a board member of Twitter, noted on Twitter that there are lobbying efforts to get the Ethiopian government to embrace Bitcoin: I am told there are active efforts by some in #Ethiopia to make #Bitcoin mainstream. It seems like a good idea, so we are exploring how we could get involved.

At the moment, the Ethiopian government has no plans to embrace Bitcoin. Earlier this month, the country’s central bank issued a statement claiming cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender, though it did not bar the use of digital coins or block bitcoin transactions.

Jack Dorsey notes lobbying efforts to get Ethiopian gov’t to embrace Bitcoin Twitter CEO and crypto proponent Jack Dorsey has highlighted the efforts of a lobby group pushing the Ethiopian government to embrace Bitcoin (BTC). In a Wednesday tweet, Dorsey shared a Twitter thread from Project Mano, an Ethiopian-based lobbying group that is trying to get the government to consider mining and storing Bitcoin. #bitcoin https://t.co/jQSnJr5bv8 — jack (@jack) June 15, 2021 Dorsey appears to have given the project some helpful exposure, with Project Mano’s Twitter followers doubling from 500 when he shared the thread to around 1,000 at the time of writing. Project Mano noted in a Tuesday Twitter thread that “for the last 6 months or so,” the group has been working to push the Ethiopian government to “combat the rising inequalities and global inflation” by adopting Bitcoin. The project’s website outlines three Bitcoin-based initiatives that it is urging the Ethiopian government to adopt: mining, hodling and linking Bitcoin to the Ethiopian birr or other legal tenders. In our research, through the mining initiative, Ethiopia could easily multiply its export earnings without third-party involvement. Billions more in short term with minimal investment. The project aims to publish more detailed plans both for the government 3/4 — Project Mano | ማኖ (@projectmano) June 15, 2021 The project noted that if the proposed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is successful, not only will it be able to provide Ethiopian residents with round-the-clock electricity, but if also repurposed for Bitcoin mining, it could potentially “produce billions of dollars a year” for the economy. Interestingly, Project Mano is proposing that if Bitcoin mining were to be successful in Ethiopia, the government could also leverage decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocols to increase the buying power of its Bitcoin holdings. According to Project Mano, hodling Bitcoin could also be used as a hedge against the inflation rate of the Ethiopian birr, and it noted that the only way it sees Ethiopia increasing the nation’s gross domestic product is by outpacing the U.S. dollar’s inflation rate: “Given Ethiopia’s economy is not growing remotely near 25% year after year, our buying power is naturally depleting quickly against scarce assets.“ “If the Ethiopian economy is only growing 7% a year, we are not catching up to the rate we need to break even,” it added. Related: Tanzanian president urges central bank to prepare for crypto According to the World Bank Group, Ethiopia is the fastest growing economy in the African continent; however, it is also “one of the poorest, with a per capita income of $850.” It appears that crypto regulation hasn’t been of primordial importance to Ethiopia in the past, though it has taken a proactive approach in some instances. In particular, the Ethiopian government signed an agreement with Charles Hoskinson’s Cardano that enabled Ethiopian developers to apply blockchain technology to the country’s agritech industry back in 2018. In April, the government began working with the research and development arm behind Cardano, Input Output Hong Kong, to create a tamper-proof record of the educational performance of 5 million students across 3,500 schools in Ethiopia.

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Emilia James
By Emilia James

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