Sri Lanka joins the global crypto adoption trend after forming a committee to research and implement blockchain and cryptocurrency mining technologies.
A letter shared on Oct. 8 by Sri Lanka’s general manager for government information, Mohan Samaranayake, shows that authorities have approved a recent proposal to attract investment in the country’s blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives.
According to Samaranayake, the Sri Lankan authorities have recognized the need to develop “an integrated system of digital banking, blockchain mining technology and cryptocurrencies” in order to compare global and international markets with peer partners. He added:
“This committee is charged with examining regulations and initiatives from other countries such as Dubai, Malaysia, Philippines, EU and Singapore, etc. and recommending an appropriate framework for Sri Lanka.”
The proposal from Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Coordination and Supervision of the project, requires the committee to report its cryptocurrency and blockchain-related findings to the Cabinet for Measures, Rules and Regulations.
Of the eight members of the committee, two international fintech giants represent, including Sandun Hapugoda from Mastercard and Sujeewa Mudalige from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Traditional finance members include Rajeeva Bandaranaike, CEO of the Colombo Stock Exchange, and Dharmasri Kumarathunge, director of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The remaining four members represent various national agencies including the Sri Lankan Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT), the Government’s Ministry of Information, the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the Council of Presidents.
In support of this initiative, the Commission will also monitor laws and regulations put in place by other countries to set rules against money laundering (AML), terrorist financing and criminal activity.
Related: Cryptocurrency trading increased 706% in Asia as institutional adoption increases – Chainalysis
A recent Cointelegraph report highlighted a 706% increase in Central and South Asia and Oceania between July 2020 and June 2021. Based on data shared by Chainalysis, the value of transactions in the region was 14% ($ 572.5 billion), represented by India with the highest global transaction value.
As early as April, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka published a public announcement on the risks associated with crypto investments and referred to the lack of legal or regulatory recourse. However, just a month after the announcement, the central bank listed three banks to develop a proof-of-concept for a common know-your-customer tribe using blockchain.