Paraguayan Senate opposes President’s mining ban

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez made news at the end of August 2022 by rejecting the bill allowing cryptocurrency mining. The Senate came back to defend its bill. In doing so, it rejected the president’s veto. This tug-of-war could continue, but for now, crypto miners in the country seem to be off the hook.

33 Senators oppose the veto of President Mario Abdo Benitez

In late August, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez had opposed a Senate bill to recognize cryptocurrency mining as an industrial activity. The president’s decision was motivated by the fact that, unlike other industrial activities, mining consumes a great deal of energy without using a significant local workforce.

Convinced that its bill would bring benefits to the state, cryptocurrency companies as well as the country’s citizens, the Senate of Paraguay is ready to face the president of the Republic to pass the cryptocurrency law.

In a session analyzing the presidential decree banning Bitcoin mining, the senators overwhelmingly rejected the Head of State’s veto. For them, the country must welcome cryptocurrency miners to take full advantage of its energy surplus.

The Senate’s arguments in favor of mining

Some strong supporters of the cryptocurrency bill stood out in the debate. In particular, Senator Enrique Salyn Buzarquis reminded us that mining is a global reality and that Paraguay cannot ignore it. Not formalizing and taxing this sector is simply giving up taxes. This is counterproductive for the government, said the senator.

Another member of the Senate, Abel González, for his part, believes that not allowing cryptocurrency mining is tantamount to wasting the excess energy produced by the huge Itaipu Binacional hydroelectric plant, an opinion shared by Senator Gilberto Apuril, who believes that regulating the cryptocurrency sector will allow the country to better track energy consumption at the national level.

The passage of the law is important so that we can facilitate the possibility of continuing to undertake the use of energy and new forms of employment in our country with cryptocurrencies.

Senator Daniel Rojas

After the debate, 33 senators voted against the presidential veto. This vote has raised even more hope for cryptocurrency miners in Paraguay and paves the way for the possibility of official mining authorization. Indeed, the controversial bill will now be sent to the Paraguayan Chamber of Deputies. If the latter in turn overrides the president’s veto, the law will come into effect.

If the cryptocurrency bill passes, Paraguay could be the second country in Latin America to formally legalize Bitcoin mining after Venezuela. This decision would make the country a real magnet for miners. Miners can make money from the energy surplus Paraguay has. But before that happens, the country’s deputies will have to be as far-sighted as the senators. At worst, the miners can always fall back on Kazakhstan.