Next month, Paraguayan congressman Carlos Rejala plans to present a bill to attract international mining companies and other crypto businesses.
The project allows cryptocurrency companies — whether in mining or another segment, such as exchanges — to finance their Paraguayan operations with cryptocurrencies, remit dividends abroad and capitalize their cryptocurrency profits in local banks, Rejala told CoinDesk.
Rejala, a 36-year-old entrepreneur, discovered bitcoin in 2017 and began trading in 2019, a year after taking a deputy seat for the independent Hagamos party, he said.
On Monday, following the announcement that El Salvador would introduce a bill to allow bitcoin to be treated as legal tender, Rejala tweeted a photo of himself with laser eyes and a sentence about the project.
“The announcement prompted me not to be afraid and to think that this can be real in my country,” he said.
The project seeks to position Paraguay as the crypto hub for Latin America and a model for other countries in the region, he said, adding that if the bill is approved, he will seek to present a second one promoting the use of bitcoin as legal tender.
It’s been a longtime goal for local business leaders, who touted Paraguay’s cheap energy as far back as 2018.
“However, first we want to give Paraguay a blockchain-friendly status,” he said.
According to Rejala, one of the most attractive conditions for mining companies is the cost of electricity in Paraguay, which is around $0.05 per kilowatt-hour and is the lowest in the region. Almost 100% of production comes from hydroelectric sources.
“It is renewable energy, non-polluting, which is extremely important for the mining companies,” he said.
In a dialogue with First Mover on CoinDesk TV, Juanjo Benitez Rickmann, CEO of local mining company Bitcoin.com.py, said that mining in Paraguay only requires registration and payment of taxes, which he classified as l...