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Cryptocurrency scheme not in Mong La, company says

A Yongbang cryptocurrency scheme in a border area of eastern Shan State is not located in Mong La Special Administrative Region 4, the Chinese firm in charge clarified.

“The physical jurisdiction of Yongbang is a couple hours away from Mong La. Any control of incidental overlap [there should be none] will be maintained by the respective groups that maintain physical control of their respective areas,” a representative of Shellpay Internet Technology Co responded to questions via email.

“There is no affiliation with Mong La and Yongbang is not located there. This is understandably why they have no knowledge of Yongbang.

“Mong La is jurisdictionally separate to Yongbang and has no influence on the sovereignty and the authority within Yongbang.”

Jane Zhang Hong, CEO of Shellpay, said earlier this month that the company was granted a piece of land by the “Peaceful Liberation Alliance of 7 States” in April 2018 as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to issue digital coins and e-citizenship.

The company said the Peaceful Liberation Alliance of 7 States is a political party and “currently represents the leadership of the Yongbang Special Economic Zone”, with membership “open to any who wish to join”.

The disputed area, covering 220 square kilometres, is located in eastern Shan.

As the legal jurisdiction of Yongbang falls under Myanmar’s sovereignty, The Myanmar Times asked why Shellpay has not sought consultation with Nay Pyi Taw over the scheme.

“ShellPay is a partner and provider to Yongbang and its administration. It is the discretion of the Yongbang administration whether or not to consult with the Union of Burma’s central authority. That said, it has been made clear publically that the Yongbang leadership is not seeking approval and is acting under the sovereign and economic interests of the zone’s refugees,” the representative explained, referring to war refugees who have been displaced by the last 70 years of civil conflict.

He added that the Yongbang SEZ covers around 300,000 refugees.

The Yongbang administration is “willing and open to having a dialogue with the government”, but any regulation or regulatory body under the central government in Nay Pyi Taw, whether on cryptocurrency or other domain, “has no oversight on the sovereign zone of Yongbang.”

The company backpedalled on previous comments from executives about tapping into Kachin’s jade and upper Myanmar’s tin reserves, saying that the current priority is on e-citizenship.

“As far as natural resources are concerned, no specific policy has yet been defined. Our most immediate focus is on the global e-citizenship programme and enlisting the participation of global stakeholders who believe in peace, freedom and prosperity.”

The Chinese Embassy in Yangon did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Myanmar Times.

The Myanmar Times is waiting for Shellpay to clarify the exact location of Yongbang.

SOURCE: MYANMAR TIMES

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