Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on Friday offering tax breaks and legal incentives for dealing in digital currencies in an effort to turn Belarus into an international tech haven.
“Belarus will become the first government in the world that opens wide opportunities for the use of blockchain technology,” Lukashenko said in a statement on his website. “We have every chance of becoming a regional center in this area.”
The decree legalizes business based on blockchain technology
Revenue and profit from all operations using digital tokens will be exempt from taxes until 2023, according to a summary of the decree published by Viktor Prokopenya, one of the businessmen lobbying for the legislation.
Lukashenko said this month that his goal in signing the decree is to make Belarus a “tech nation.”
The novelty of the proposed law is that Belarus would provide legal clarity for dealing in digital currencies which is yet unseen in other countries, said Denis Aleinikov, whose law firm Aleinikov and Partners helped to draft the decree.
To protect against fraudsters, the regulation would set capital requirements for operators of cryptocurrency exchanges. It would also introduce “smart contracts” in Belarus — self-executable computer-coded applications that serve as an alternative to traditional paper agreements.
“The decree has been written exactly the way our tech community wanted it,” Vsevolod Yanchevsky, head of Hi-Tech Park, said in an interview in Minsk. “Belarus will be one of the best jurisdictions in the world for cryptocurrencies and blockchain.”