In 2005, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree. This decree represented the initiative to create an IT-focused special economic zone. Similar to Silicon Valley in the USA, the zone is referred to as the High-Tech Park (HTP). It is the only place in the country that provides tax benefits on a systematic basis. Thus, HTP residents are exempt from income tax, value-added tax, land tax, and property tax.
In the summer of this year, another decree was prepared. This time the decree facilitated the inflow of international investments and incorporated new technologies and innovations in the HTP. This draft decree has already been presented to Lukashenko to sign into law. It includes provisions for cryptocurrencies and ICOs at the legislative level.
Local news outlet Tut By Media stated: “The decree provides for the introduction into civil circulation of cryptocurrencies and tokens based on the technology of blockchain. A comprehensive legal regulation is proposed so that HTP residents can provide crypto exchange services, exchange cryptocurrencies, attract financing through ICOs, [and] use cryptocurrencies and tokens in civil circulation.”
If the law is passed, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offering tokens will be approved for circulation. Furthermore, exchanges can trade rubles for cryptocurrency, ICOs can be used for financing, and mining will be allowed by law in Belarus. Belarus is also about to have its first centralized crypto exchange. Set to launch in the spring of next year, this exchange “will be the first in the territory of the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan),” reported Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
There is a lot of excitement around Belarus, but the final decision is yet to come.