Сrypto-Zone in Belarus

There are some countries today competing in creation of the best conditions for crypto business. Recently, Belarus has applied to become one of them.
The country has a background to manage that because of:

  • strong technical higher education

  • creation of Hi Tech Park

  • adoption of Digital Economy Development Decree

In this article you will know more about last two points and understand whether it is enough of that for Belarus to become a bay for the crypto.

Hi Tech Park Belarus

Belarus Hi Tech Park was founded in 2005 to stimulate development of IT-technology in the country. In 2014 according to the President's decree functions, goals and authority of Hi Tech Park were expanded to provide a broader development of tech industries including crypto industry.

Park administration is responsible for:

  • education

  • organization of professional conferences and events

  • fundraising

  • support of park residents
Any Belarusian tech company can become a Hi Tech Park resident. It is not necessary for such company to be hosted on the territory of the park - it can be located anywhere in Belarus. For residents of the park there are enacted special regulatory norms and tax exemptions.

There is a supervisory board in the Hi Tech Park which is responsible for development of the official regulatory documents concerning cryptocurrency, ICO, crypto exchanges and decentralized companies. The board has published its recommendations on crypto industry regulations on November 30, 2018.

These documents:

  • regulate the process of application for HTP residentship and the minimum standards companies need to comply;

  • give a definition to crypto exchanges, ICO and regulate their activity;

  • describe the rules for HTP residents activity.

Digital Economy Development Decree

This decree was signed on December 2018 and enforced on March 28, 2018. Purpose of this decree is to create conditions for Hi Tech Park and crypto industry development.

The core points of the document are listed below:

  • there should be enforce measures for blockchain companies acceptance in Belarus;

  • entities and individuals can store, sell and buy tokens and earn on it;

  • crypto exchange offices and operators can legally function in Belarus;

  • tax reliefs are enforced for all crypto companies until January 1, 2023;

  • Token is not a security, it is recognized as an asset;
  • crypto exchanges can develop their own rules for work until they comply Belarus laws;
  • Hi Tech Park residents can be examined by state organizations only after approval of Hi Tech Park administration;
  • For Hi Tech Park residents there are enforced statements from English law (warrant certificates are defined, non-compete agreement clause is enforced etc.);
  • Belarus legally defines smart contracts as a new way of making agreements.
Important! It has to be mentioned that the given above points are only applicable for Hi Tech Park residents.

After signing of the Decree the number of Hi Tech Park residents has increased for 50% in 2018.

The First Legal Crypto Exchange in CIS Region

The first licensed crypto exchange currency.com was launched in Belarus on January 15, 2019. According to Dmitry Ogievich, Head of Development in the currency.com the queue for registration on the exchange stock has made 100 000 users in two weeks since the launch.

Exchange will function in its full capacity in the second quarter of 2019.

Users can trade tokenized assets on exchange: stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrency.
The exchange is accessible for users from all countries except those living in the USA and the FATF blacklist.
We contacted Maxim Astashonok, the lawyer from Belarus. He commented on the last news and the way IT-industry development affected labour market in Belarus.

How to make crypto in Belarus an official exchange medium?

The corresponding laws on recognizing cryptocurrency as money should be adopted in the country. The second step - there should be a law regulating specifics of cryptocurrency transactions. For example, BTC cost makes N rubles. The Belarus Central Bank buys BTC for N rubles, other banks buy it for X rubles.

Was it right to make this step on acceptance of cryptocurrency this way and at this moment?

I think this step is a good way for Belarus to understand whether it needs accepting cryptos. If now it can bring profit and remain as a trend, this is a right step from the view of common sense. This trial period (the period until 2023) is made in order to let individuals and entities in Belarus try it and figure out whether it is good for them. This is also a good step for the state to understand the way this sphere has to be regulated.

What is your opinion - is there a high demand for lawyers in the crypto industry at the moment?

It is more about the increased demand on lawyers for the whole IT industry who are involved in formation of agreements on intellectual property, product development, purchase and sales of the rights, registration of trademarks. It can be said that now 40% of lawyers vacancies are published by IT companies.

Maxim Astashonok, lawyer

Can Belarus Become a Major World Blockchain Capital?

According to decree statements and development of Belarus Hi Tech Park the country has all chances to become one of the blockchain centers of the world as it is the first country which adopted a legal definition of smart contracts and hosted a legal crypto exchange currency.com.

The only thing that can detain development of the industry is insignificant change of industry regulations and low level of IT-infrastructure in the country.
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