In Myanmar, a military coup was carried out on 1 February last year and the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was imprisoned. Demonstrations have been repeated in the country since then, most recently during a strike on the first anniversary of the army’s seizure of power.
The economy collapsed after the coup and the country has not received official international aid since then. Meanwhile, the failed government is trying to raise $1 billion to secure its supporters and take action against the rule of the Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw).
However, the country’s banking system is tightly controlled by the junta, which acts as a criminal organization: it pushes people away from their homes, kills them and also gets their hands on the country’s income. Therefore, activists and the shadow government must resort to informal channels to avoid the group’s interest in the important money or currency entering the country.
Meanwhile, the junta has learned about the cryptocurrency of Tether, which is stored in the blockchains of Ethereum and Bitcoin. The group intends to replace the US dollar, which will be used to speed up trade, services and payment systems. They are also ready to take on Myanmar’s central bank, which banned the use of all digital currencies in 2020 and imposed fines and imprisonment on violators, he writes. Bloomberg.
A year after the coup, Myanmar’s military regime and civilian shadow government are nearly competing with each other to create parallel government and financial systems.
The junta is struggling with the economy weakened by clashes with armed ethnic groups, and it will also have to deal with fleeing foreign investors and additional US sanctions. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken previously called on international companies to I recommend Cut ties with companies supporting the Myanmar military.
The World Bank estimates that Myanmar’s economy shrank by about 20 percent in the past fiscal year, and nearly half of its 55 million people are expected to live below the national poverty line by early 2022.
Because of this economic uncertainty, as well as the huge shortage of liquidity and a series of sanctions restricting financial flows into the country, both the junta and the shadow government are looking for innovative ways to generate revenue.
The role of George and Alexander Soros in Myanmar
Many Democratic opponents have long enjoyed the support of Giorgi Soros, the influential businessman. According to current data, he visited Myanmar four times between March 2014 and January 2017 and met Aung San Suu Kyi twice, while his son Alexander Soros visited Myanmar seven times between 2017 and 2020 and met him six times. In 2012, Soros himself said he had supported the democratic movement in Myanmar for 20 years, but many accused him of manipulating Myanmar politics.
Incidentally, last March Soros was accused of financial abuse through the Open Society Foundation. At the time, several of the foundation’s colleagues working in Myanmar were also questioned and the organization’s local accounts, worth about $4 million, were frozen. Soros said they caused serious financial problems by paying primarily for China’s economic growth.
The military council accused the organization’s employees of taking deposits from a private bank and providing monetary support for a campaign against the military known as the Civil Disobedience Movement. Investigations are still ongoing. Bloomberg wrote that the Open Society Foundation did not wish to comment on Myanmar’s role.
Military Council National Lottery and plans for this year
Junta has also launched a digital national lottery that is said to have generated more than $60,000 in revenue since August, but they also have several “click to donate” sites that direct viewers to ads and increase the amount collected as views increase.
The shadow government also has increased plans to ensure that schools and hospitals are open, that workers still on strike are paid, and that a massive coronavirus vaccination program continues.
Perhaps the most ambitious step was the sale of the “Spring Revolution Treasuries”. Buyers will receive a certificate stating that they will repay the interest-free amount after two years. The premiere at the end of November proved so popular that it was pulled within days of its release. Sales continued in January and have grossed around $20 million so far.
The junta is very innovative and successful in “making money” in various ways, but they are still very far from their goal. US President Joe Biden has said the release of San Suu Kyi and other prisoners and the military should be repeatedly called upon to return Myanmar to the path of democracy.