The decree signed by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko in December that legalizes cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) will come into force in March this year. As per the decree, cryptocurrency activities will be unrestricted and exempted from tax for five years i.e 2023.
Cryptocurrencies to be Legalized from March 28
As we reported in our December article, the decree signed by President Lukashenko on December 21, 2017, basically legalizes the cryptocurrencies, ICOs and smart contracts in Belarus. As per the reports, this decree entitled “On the development of the digital economy” will get into effect on March 28, this year.
Iryna Chelyshava, an associate attorney at a Belarusian law firm of Vlasova Mikhel & Partners explained:
“The decree entitles legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who are residents of the High Technology Park (the HTP) to perform operations with tokens (including cryptocurrency). Others can use tokens in the territory of Belarus through residents of the HTP.”
Similar to the Silicon Valley in the US, the HTP is a special economic zone that has a specific legal regime and tax in Belarus. According to the website of the HTP, 192 companies that develop software products and provide IT services to customers from 67 countries worldwide are residents of this park. Out of this number, about 35% enterprises have 100% foreign investments.
HTP calls themselves “the main experimental site for the implementation of pilot projects” that also includes projects based on cryptocurrencies.
In an announcement made by HTP this week:
“The HTP Administration draws your attention to the fact that Decree No.8 ‘On the development of the digital economy’ comes into force on March 28, 2018.”
No Restrictions, No Taxes
The Park mentioned that the new decree does not imply any kind of special requirements and restrictions on the operations of creation, placement, storage, alienation, exchange of tokens along with any activities of crypto exchanges and platforms.
HTP further clarified:
“Activity such as mining, acquisition, alienation of tokens, carried out by individuals, are not entrepreneurial activities, and tokens are not subject to declaration. At the same time, until 2023, activities related to mining, the creation, acquisition, and alienation of tokens are not taxed.”
The associate attorney, Chelyshava, also explained that cryptocurrency is listed as a version of a token and doesn’t have its own definition per se, in the decree. Talking about the smart contracts, their definition is broad enough to include the various approaches of smart contracts that are in existence.
HTP also mentioned that by legalizing smart contracts at the country level, Belarus will now join Estonia and Japan in the list of countries with positive cryptocurrency regulations.
So, what’s your take on Belarus’s tax-free cryptocurrency zone? Which country do you think is going to legalize cryptocurrency next? Let us know your thought in comments below and follow or write us on twitter and facebook page.
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I am an associate content producer for the news section of Coingape. I have previously worked as a freelancer for numerous sites and have covered a dynamic range of topics from sports, finance to economics and politics.