Just when the world seemed to conveniently forget the military rule in Myanmar and the
oppression, torture, and killing of pro-democracy protesters over the last 10 months, the
indomitable spirit of freedom has spoken up. The shadow government in Myanmar has accepted
Tether’s stablecoin USDT as its currency. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that is tied with a
stable currency or asset class. The USDT is tied to the US dollar, meaning the value of USDT
doesn’t fluctuate like other cryptocurrencies. Rather, it’s equivalent to the US dollar at all times.
However, it has all other features of a cryptocurrency. A USDT transaction can completely
overpass surveillance and monitoring by governments and central banks.

With their decision to adopt a cryptocurrency as their legal tender, the supporters of Aung San
SuuKyi, who have been protesting the military coup in February 2021, have further shown their
intent and willingness to take on the military dictators in Myanmar.

SuuKyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) swept the November 2020 general elections
and before she could take charge of the new government, the military took over on 1 February
2021. SuuKyi is currently under detention at an undisclosed location and a military court has
handed her a 4-year jail term, which was subsequently reduced to 2 years by the junta leader
Senior General Min Aung Hliang.

The clash between protestors and the military has led the country to a complete breakdown of
normal life. Harrowing stories of oppression and torture are coming from Myanmar which has
been under the military rule for 50 years before SuuKyi became part of the government in 2016.

As per a report by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 1303 protestors have been
killed and 10,600 have been taken into custody by the military regime beginning February till
December 6.

By choosing USDT as its official currency, the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) led
by SuuKyi who happens to be away from the public view due to her detention, defies the
country’s ban on cryptocurrency enforced by its central bank in May 2020. It also attracts the
country’s draconian counter-terrorism laws.

With USDT as the medium, the NUG has launched a special bond to raise $1 billion aiming to
use the money to support the civilian fight against the military rule. As per the reports, the fund
collected close to $10 million within 24 hours of its launch.

The bloody protests and clashes over the last 10 months suggest that SuuKyi, the gritty 76-year-
old Nobel laureate who spent 15 years under detention fighting for democracy in her country, is
not going to give up confronting the junta government that has been in power for most part of the
last 60 years.

Her use of cryptocurrency in this long-drawn battle for democracy highlights one very important
thing: Cryptocurrencies are designed to circumvent control and monitoring.

No wonder, SuuKyi has found it a powerful weapon to fight the military with. Apple co-founder
once described bitcoin as a mathematical miracle that is better than gold. SuuKyi’s tryst with
USDT might prove that cryptocurrencies are mathematical equations that can also upset political
equations. The NUG’s USDT experiment clearly underscores that cryptocurrencies can shape the
political future of a country.

The use of the “currency of the future” makes her fight relevant and contemporary for the
generation-now that may have totally missed out on the greatness and exploits of SuuKyi as a
political leader.

The indomitable spirit of the frail-looking younger daughter of General Aung San who founded
the Myanmar Armed Forces and led the country to freedom from British rule has a deep India
connection. A follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Buddhist principles, SuuKyi has studied in
Delhi for her school and graduation.

The shadow government Myanmar announced the onboarding of USDT on Facebook, which has
been the most important media outlet in the war between the pro-democracy supporters and the
military government. Most traditional media outlets have either closed down or are functioning
under strict military surveillance. After the coup, Meta Platforms Inc. (Facebook) had announced
to ban all businesses and offices linked to the junta government in Myanmar from its platforms.
However, both sides are still using Facebook in their fight against each other.

Named Spring Revolution Special Treasury Bonds, the crypto fund launched by SuuKyi
National Unity Government is structured like a direct lending instrument. It has collected $9.5
million in 24 hours of its launch, mainly from Myanmar Diaspora. Due to high demand for the
bonds, the sales were briefly stopped until December 6. Now, the NUG plans to sell these bonds
in different countries by appointing official representatives.

To conclude, let’s remember what the Norwegian Nobel Committee said about Aung San
SuuKyi while awarding her Nobel Peace Prize for 1991.

“… SuuKyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent
decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression …”.

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