Belarus President Signs Decree Endorsing Free Flow of Cryptocurrencies

The President of Belarus has formally issued a proclamation that supports free flow of cryptocurrencies in the nation.

President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s labored for years under the title of Europe’s last dictator, has signed a decree on Tuesday titled “on the register of virtual wallet addresses and the circulation of cryptocurrency.”

The directive establishes a legal framework for Belarusian cryptocurrency regulator Hi-Tech Park (HTP) to keep a record of virtual wallet addresses that are used in illegal operations.

According to the decree, crypto activities require “constant monitoring” and if needed, “supplementing and clarifying regulatory norms.”

By doing so, it protects crypto participants and investors from potential losses and prevent them from “unintentional involvement in activities prohibited by law.”

“Belarus is consistently developing the legal field for regulating activities related to digital assets, and, unlike many other states, allows the free circulation of digital currencies,” the release noted.

Belarus recently revealed that it has no intentions to impose stricter rules on the country’s regulatory framework for the crypto sector. This comes as Belarus’s close ally Russia considered a blanket ban on a number of crypto activities including mining, trading, and investing.

“Restrictive changes to the existing regulatory model are not currently foreseen,” the Belarus HTP told Bloomberg.

A Crypto-Friendly Nation

The president believes that his country “has every chance of becoming a regional center in [crypto] area.”

To substantiate his statement, the country has been moving in leaps and bounds in embracing crypto-friendly moves. For instance, the country has been creating favorable conditions for the development of blockchain technology and businesses based on it.

Also, Belarus has become the first nation to legalize smart contracts by introducing them into jurisdiction and giving companies the right to use in transactions.

Additionally, Belarus HTP has been the main ground for pilot experiments with digital tokens operations. Crypto resident companies and international investors get a number of English law instruments, namely, convertible loan, options contracts, non-competition, non-solicitation, indemnities.

According to a TripleA ownership data, over 350K or 3.73% of Belarusians currently own cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum.

Crypto Legal Status in Belarus

Belarus is one of those early nations to legalize ICO, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. Prez Lukashenko passed a law back in 2017, that officially allows the creation, issuance, storage, sale or exchange of digital tokens, as well as crypto exchanges and mining operations.

The rule offered tax breaks ad legal incentives for dealing in digital currencies in an effort to transform Belarus into an international tech and business heaven.

Although there are no restrictions in crypto activities, Belarusian legislation said that legal entities can create, acquire, alienate tokens, and perform other transactions only through residents of the High Technology Park.

In Belarus, cryptos cannot be considered money (whether electronic or foreign notes), or securities; unlike in Switzerland where digital assets are subject to the same regulations as foreign currencies.

In terms of taxation, the legislation is quite liberal. The country announced that activities related to the mining, creation, acquisition, and sale of tokens will remain tax-free until January 1, 2023.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire