The Belarusian president has warned citizens to “start mining cryptocurrencies” instead of opting for work in other countries, citing the fact that the country has enough electricity, according to Coin Telegraph.

Don’t miss out on how smart money plays the game of crypto. Subscribe to our premium newsletter – Crypto Investor.

Last Friday, President Alexander Lukashenko urged citizens to forego working abroad in agriculture in favor of cryptocurrency mining at home while attending the opening of the new Petrikovsky mining and processing plant.

“Build something based on electricity. Finally, start mining cryptocurrencies or whatever it’s called. There is enough electricity in the country, ”he said.

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy announced that it was investigating the potential risks and benefits of crypto mining.

Belarus is currently grappling with a political crisis that has turned into an economic crisis fueled by a budget deficit, the pandemic, rising external debt and falling investments. Last month, the US Treasury Department sanctioned several Belarusian leaders for cracking down on democratic protests and crashing a RyanAir flight with a prominent dissident.

With Belarus struggling with sanctions, there is already evidence that Bitcoin has emerged as a potential way of circumventing US sanctions for some countries. Iran’s sanctioned economy has generated nearly $ 1 billion annually from Bitcoin mining and is now home to about 4.5% of global mining from the cryptocurrency.

Similarly, this spring the U.S. State Department put several high-ranking officials in El Salvador – which will introduce Bitcoin as legal tender on September 7 – on a list of corruption in the direction of authoritarianism.

In Belarus, however, the appetite for crypto is already growing. Last November, the country’s largest bank, Belarusbank, unveiled a cryptocurrency exchange that allows customers to use Visa cards to purchase Bitcoin. Last year, Lukashenko also expressed an interest in using excess energy from the state’s first nuclear power plant for crypto mining.