Myanmar’s first fully crypto-based banking institution has announced a soft launch on July 22nd. This is a move that could give the country’s shadow government greater access to financial services and funds.
The Spring Development Bank is named after the Spring Revolution, a movement led by the National Unity Government (NUG) in exile against the ruling State Administration Council (SAC), the military government that seized power in Myanmar in February 2021.
The bank’s target audience is not only the 55 million Burmese living in Myanmar, but also the two million-plus “Myanmar diaspora” who live and work outside Myanmar and frequently send money to Myanmar.
Built on Polygon, the bank’s main goals are to make domestic and international payments faster and more efficient, as well as to provide international access to a wide range of financial products.
A Spring Development Bank official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Cointelegraph that cryptocurrencies are the obvious solution to provide economic support to Burmese citizens and the government-in-exile.
“Spring Development Bank and the blockchain technology it powers is a natural fit from a funding strategy perspective for NUG.”
While the new crypto bank was not launched directly by NUG, officials said it was launched with NUG’s full support and resources. Additionally, the bank is licensed and regulated by the NUG-controlled Interim Central Bank of Myanmar.
The bank’s CEO, who goes by the name Calvin T for security reasons, told Cointelegraph that the launch of the new institution marks the first step in restoring economic freedom to Myanmar.
Myanmar interim central bank governor and deputy finance and industry minister Tin Tun Naing described the bank as a fundamentally “revolutionary” institution.
“It is not enough to just move money into a military-controlled banking system, we need to provide an alternative financial system based on trust and guaranteed by the government.”
Naing argued that the military-backed financial system was “collapsed” and that the Spring Development Bank would help secure the people’s financial assets.
The fees currently charged for sending money across the country the traditional way can reportedly reach up to 30%.
“Everything is built on Polygon, not just for cost reasons, but because we thought the Polygon ecosystem was likely to survive in the long term,” explained the official.
The bank plans to issue a number of new stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies, including Myanmar kyat, Thai baht, Singapore dollar and US dollar. Users can connect these assets to a bank’s “currency swap” function built on UniSwap V3, enabling exchange of stablecoins.
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In Myanmar, residents who express their support for the NUG are routinely ‘shown’ in public for the simple reason that they have the wrong app on their phone. display Officials said there were allegations of violence and imprisonment.
As such, the bank’s user interface is designed as a “web-only” platform.
“Although the bank’s interface looks like an application, we recommend accessing it using an incognito window to avoid saving your browser history,” the official explained.
On December 31, 2021, NUG announced the introduction of the US dollar-pegged stablecoin Tether (USDT) legal tender to expedite international trade.
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