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Belarus Government Legalizes Cryptocurrency Activities Beginning in March

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The news about the Belarusian President’s move to sign a decree that would legalize all Cyrptocurrency-related activities was first reported on news.Bitcoin.com on December 21st 2017. From March 28th, the decree is set to take effect, allowing smart contracts, ICOs and cryptocurrency-related companies to run tax-free at least for the next 5 years.

According to Iryan Chelyshava (a Belarusian associate attorney) the decree entitles High Technology Park (HTP) residents, legal entities and companies to operate and deal in cryptocurrencies, completely tax-free.

What is the HTP?

In Belarus, the HTP (High Technology Park), comprises a special tax, legal and economic, zone much similar to Silicon Valley in California, USA. The Belarus HTP is simply an experimental site, with about 192 software development companies, with a capacity of producing IT-related services and products to consumers from 67 countries across the globe. In fact, a post on the HTP site mentioned that 100 percent of enterprises in the region are foreign investments, which make the HTP an ideal location for “the implementation of pilot projects”.

Tax-Free Operations With no Restrictions

Yes, that’s right. The new decree will not only legalize all crypto related activities, but also deem all income acquired through cryptocurrency tax-free for the next five years, starting in March this year. According to the post on the HTP site, “the new decree legalizes ICOs cryptocurrencies,” and

does not imply any restriction and special requirements for the operations of creation, placement, storage, alienation, exchange or tokens as well as the activities of crypto exchanges and crypto platforms.

Clarity on the Definition of Terms

However, the statement from the park further explained that “Activity such as mining, acquisition, alienation of tokens, carried out by individuals, are not entrepreneurial activities, and tokens are not subject to declaration”.

Chelyshava conveyed that the decree will provide token, cryptocurrency and smart contract definitions for further clarity; she also added that currently the decree “does not provide the criteria of cryptocurrency that would distinguish it from tokens”

However she noted that the definition for smart contracts is broad and could include a variety of approaches that exceed the current understanding. According to her written explanation as quoted on news.bitcoin.com, “the decree does not specify the nature of the certain civil right and therefore the concept of ‘token’ is provided with a high degree of flexibility”.

Belarus Becomes World’s First

This move definitely positions Belarus as the world’s first to legalize cryptocurrencies.

The HTP also noted that the move to make smart contracts legal documents will position Belarus as the world’s first government to make smart contracts legal at a “country level”.

The head of Microsoft in Belarus (Anton Myakishev) also said that “the decree is a breakthrough for Belarus” as it “gives the industry the possibility to make a leap forward” towards  the development of a conducive environmental for foreign capital.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

What influence do you think the move by the Belarusian President will have on the crypto world? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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