Crypto is the only money that truly belongs to its owner.
This looks so simple and a mere formality to some, but in difficult situations this quality becomes paramount.
The National Unity Government (NUG) – the shadow government of Myanmar supporting imprisoned Aung Sang Suu Kyi – must have understood the importance of a freely moving money. This week NUG declared the dollar-pegged stablecoin Tether (USDT) as an official currency for local use, hoping that it would assure people’s funds against seizure by the military regime currently in power, and also that it would “speed up the current trade, services and payments systems.”
Of course, Tether is not a cryptocurrency strictly speaking: it is a token redeemable 1:1 for dollar and issued by a private company. It is subject both to the movements of the dollar (which reflects the decisions of the US Fed and other officials) and to the actions of its issuing company (Tether has not always been clear on its reserves guaranteeing stablecoins; it was recently fined for their insufficiency).
Nonetheless, the USDT tokens exist on the blockchain, and therefore enjoy the same worldwide accessibility and independent transfer qualities as other crypto – the qualities that no other money has. So if it can help bypass the military regime (which has banned crypto last year btw), it will be a good thing.