Bulgarian Finance Minister: Government is exploring crypto payment options

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister for European Union Funds Assen Vassilev said on January 23 that the country is exploring options for launching a crypto payment mechanism. Vassilev said the government is in discussions with the Bulgarian National Bank and industry players to explore crypto payments “in the short to medium term,” Bloomberg reported Friday. However, he added that Bulgaria is unlikely to be a major hub for cryptocurrency miners — many are reportedly considering leaving Kazakhstan due to political unrest and internet outages. Before the 2017 bull run, the Bulgarian government seized 213,519 bitcoins from an underground criminal network, valued at about $3.5 billion at the time, but worth over $8.2 billion at press time, the Bulgarian government may still be the largest bitcoin in the world one of the holders. It is unclear whether officials sold or auctioned the cryptocurrencies at the time, or if they are continuing to hold the digital assets. (Cointelegraph)