Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, CEO of Ard Financial, hosted a conference on the benefits and potential of bitcoin in Mongolia. Yes, Mongolia. The landlocked nation with a small population managed to attract over a thousand attendees, getting beyond just talk and debate — a new three-year fund was created to help make their ambitious goals a reality.
Mongolia’s First Crypto Conference
Crypto Nation was held in early December, and hosted over 1,200 attendees from all over the world, including “public and private sector participants, civil society, crypto-enthusiasts, and scientific and academic communities on blockchain and its applications,” according to Ard Financial Group’s press release summarizing the event. The effort was “to promote understanding about blockchain and cryptocurrency markets and we want to help create awareness and excitement at all levels of the society,” the company explained.
It wasn’t just the usual talk and pontification. Last week, the company announced closing their “first investment round at MNT2.5 billion from more than 100 individual and institutional investors. Ard Management, a subsidiary of Ard Holdings, will manage the funds for 3 years, in partnership with Ard Bit and Aravt Bit.”
And now Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, CEO of Ard Financial, looks to a crypto future for his country. “We are given a rare chance to compete with more advanced economies on a level playing field when it comes to blockchain and cryptography,” he tells News.Bitcoin.com.
So convinced of the promise, he issues a challenge. “As such I am calling on my fellow compatriots to invest in cryptocurrencies, and I am calling on our youth to educate themselves in this exciting new field. I am calling on my politicians to embrace and promote this innovation. Crypto Nation was a pinnacle of this effort.”
From Soviet Satellite to Crypto Promise
Crypto Nation Inaugural Forum was held December 1 and 2 in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, located in the country’s north. It houses almost half of Mongolia’s population, Genghis Khan is said to have stayed there at one point, and is a connection on the Trans-Siberian railway.
The conference was the first of its kind in the country, and aimed to “promote greater understanding of Bitcoin, altcoins, crypto market dynamics and their underlying technology which will result in an enabling environment for their development at local and national levels,” according to the conference’s website.
“I truly believe that fate is giving Mongolia a chance to start anew,” Mr. Hutagt tells News.Bitcoin.com, a “fresh start to become one of the leading countries in the world in terms of technological advancement and its societal and economic implications.” A line from Ganhuyag (Gan) Chuluun Hutagt’s talks asks the audience to imagine visiting Mongolia. It’s not hard to imagine what it’s like, he quips, just picture the surface of the moon and a few animals and people living there. His lunar land is actually the size of Western Europe with a little more than three million people.
The sparsely populated nation is a former Soviet satellite. With the breakup of the USSR came a rather drastic change. In the latter part of the 20th century, the country was very suddenly on its own economically. Russia was slow to embrace market reform compared to the deal China made internally, keeping its politics but allowing a queer form of industrial capitalism. China’s boom and resulting appetite for mineral resources helped the much smaller nation industrialize. And its growth has been nothing short of amazing (see chart).
Crypto as a Way to End Poverty
Asked about his introduction to bitcoin, Gan explains, “My friend Wences Casares first told me about Bitcoins in 2014. Then he sent me a book which fascinated me and my brother. Since then it became not only a passion but also a day-time job for me and the group I am managing, Ard Financial Group. We founded Ard Bit to help facilitate investment in Bitcoins by Mongolians, and we wrote a book called Digital Gold (first book on crypto and blockchain in Mongolian). We organized numerous trainings for our clients. We put institutional money into crypto, and we founded the first ever crypto mining and investment fund.”
Asked about the current state of crypto in his country, he explains “It is growing by the day. We will soon become one of the biggest players in crypto-mining. Start-ups from Mongolia are rolled out with increasing frequency. Me and my group are setting up a Blockchain Academy. We are part of the association to lobby for enabling a smoother environment in Mongolia for blockchain and crypto,” he noted.
As for Mongolia’s notorious poverty, he believes “Blockchain technology will help Mongolia prosper economically and get rid of poverty. We will be able to use this technology to eradicate air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. We will be able to root out the rampant corruption in the society,” he predicted to News.Bitcoin.com.
Regarding his positivity and optimism, Gan concedes, “Sounds pretty utopian. But, hey, what do we have to lose? Why regret later for not trying. At least I can say I tried. I tried hard at it.”
What do you think about Gan’s optimism? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Pixabay, Ard Financial. Special thanks to Bitcoin.com Ambassador Sterlin Lujan for arranging this interview.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com was a sponsor of Crypto Nation.