The government of Belarus has passed new statutes aimed in part at encouraging the development of companies around cryptocurrency and blockchain.
According to the state-owned media agency BelTA, on Dec. 22 Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a digital economy development decree that legally enshrines the use of emerging technologies like blockchain, while also offering significant tax incentives in a bid to attract business activity.
The decree, as summarized by a local IT firm that advocated for the legislation, boosts development of the country's High-Tech Park, a special economic zone the government wants to serve as a hub for tech and financial startups.
One component of the law provides a legal basis for companies working on smart contract development, token issuance, cryptocurrency trading and mining – all of which would be exempt from income taxes for the next five years.The law states:
"Turnovers, profits (income, proceeds) from various operations with tokens are not recognized as taxable items until January 2023."As reported in July, the country's central bank had already been considering avenues for domestic banks to incorporate blockchain as part of a transaction guarantee system.
In another report published today, central bank chief Pavel Kallaur noted the push for the High-Tech Park to serve as a place for cryptocurrency businesses to set up shop.
"As for cryptocurrencies, the Digital Economy Development Ordinance allows resident companies of the Hi-Tech Park to use cryptocurrencies for international deals. We are okay with that," he told BelTA.