BREAKING: Belarus to become world’s best jurisdiction for cryptocurrencies, ICOs and smart contracts [UPDATED]

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Belarusian president Lukashenka just signed a decree that puts Belarus ahead of all other countries in terms of cryptocurrency legislation. The decree “About development of digital economy” signed on December 22, 2017, introduces new business operation rules for IT companies incorporated in Belarus.

Despite the controversial reputation of Belarus in terms of human rights and ease of doing business this new decree is very lax.

The decree was lobbied by some of the resident companies of Belarusian High Technology Park and aims at creating better conditions for IT-businesses. Cryptocurrencies have found their place in the decree too, and so much that Belarus has become the most progressive country in the world in terms of Blockchain-related legislation.

The full text of the decree is to be published next week. Here is the translation of what the decree is about (opens in new window), and to condense it, these are the bullet-points of what it legalizes and/or sets totally free:

  • Cryptocurrency payments are free for both individuals and companies in Belarus.
  • Members of the High Technology Park can now run ICOs legally and without any restrictions, they can organize and advertise ICOs on behalf of third parties too.
  • Cryptocurrency advertising networks creation and usage with full banking support.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges operation and full banking cycle. A cryptocurrency exchange registered in Belarus needs to have from $100K to $500K reserve in a Belarusian bank account, depending on the operation scale.
  • HTP companies can act as investment funds and perform any cryptocurrency investing operations legally and with banking support.
  • Any mining and token-related activities by High Technology Park residents are not taxable until 2023
  • Attribution of full transactional legal power to smart contracts. A transaction written in a smart contract has the same status as a civil law contract.
  • Token transactions and crypto mining for individuals are fully allowed and taxless. These activities are not considered “business activities” and do not require incorporation.

Once again, to date no other jurisdiction has given full green light to literally all things crypto. The effect of this for both Belarus and the crypto community could shape them both for the next 3-5 years.

Everything mentioned above is available for residents of Belarusian High Technology Park, and incorporating there would take about 3-4 months. There are legal companies willing to help foreigners with that, since any foreign entity can open a branch or register a new company in Belarus.

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Belarus has gained a lot of IT-related press when representatives of the local booming IT sector have made deals with worldwide giants (MSQRD app selling to Facebook, Apalon selling to IAC, selling to, and so on). Rigid legislation has been an obstacle for integration into worldwide innovation processes, but things seem to be moving into the right direction with the new decree “About development of digital economy”.

Coming to Belarus for incorporation

…is currently visa-free for founders and employees of HTP companies, work permits are distributed in a simplified manner and HTP member companies can submit lists of foreign citizens that require visa-free entry and residence in Belarus.

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