Myanmar’s Democracy Activists Embrace Crypto

This summer, Myanmar’s government-in-exile, the National Unity Government (NUG), unveiled its own cryptocurrency called the Digital Myanmar Kyat (DMMK). The goal was simple: sidestep traditional banking systems controlled by the military junta, which has ruled Myanmar since last February 2021’s coup.

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The newly-launched cryptocurrency is pegged one-to-one with the Myanmar kyat, which has sharply lost its value due to political conflict. It runs on the open-source Stellar network, and has seen more than 50,000 transactions occur so far, resulting in $620,000 in crypto circulating.

To help increase usage, exiled pro-democracy fighters released an accompanying digital mobile wallet called NUGPay, which they said was a vehicle to showcase the “courage, endurance, and resilience” of citizens in “this march to win the revolution.”

But just as quickly, the military stepped in to complicate matters.