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ADVANTAGES OF DOING CRYPTO BUSINESS IN BELARUS

Belarus has become one of the first countries in the world where blockchain and cryptocurrency activities have been legislated. In 2018, the country became one of the Top 10 most crypto-friendly countries in Europe.

Since 2017, after the adoption of the Decree No. 8 “On the Development of the Digital Economy”, residents of special economic zone “High Technologies Park” (HTP) can legally do cryptocurrency business, register cryptocurrency exchanges and buy/sell crypto platforms, and conduct ICOs. There’s also an opportunity for resident companies to create and develop customized solutions, for example, crypto banking platforms. In Belarus, all these activities are legal which gives obvious benefits as for business based on blockchain technology.

1. Legal status

The legislative framework of Belarus provides legal backing for tokens, cryptocurrency, smart contracts and blockchain technology. It also legalizes activities related to the placement of tokenized assets, ICOs conducting, token-based transactions (buying, selling, storing, mining and exchanging), cryptocurrency exchange and instant exchange services.

2. Security and transparency

Decree No. 8 embodies the world`s best practices on anti-money laundering (AML) and follows the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) procedure. Each customer is identified and verified under the anti-money laundering requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It means that for banks it’s a guarantee that their cryptocurrency solution would meet AML requirements and be transparent and secure for end-users.

3. English law institutions

Resident companies and international investors can now make transactions with shares, enter into corporate agreements under foreign law and deal with disputes over such transactions in foreign courts and arbitration. The law also provides for the functions of a convertible loan, options contracts, compensation for pecuniary losses, the conclusion of non-compete agreements and no-poach agreements.

The law also provides for the functions of a convertible loan, options contracts, compensation for pecuniary losses, the conclusion of non-compete agreements and no-poach agreements.

4. Tax breaks

The special legal status of the High Technologies Park has been extended until 2049. Under that status, all token-related transactions are exempted from income tax and VAT. Moreover, resident companies pay a reduced income tax. In turn, the administration of the High-Tech Park receives 1% of their revenue generated from the divestment of digital signs (tokens) for Belarusian rubles, foreign currency or electronic money.

5. Freedom of foreign economic activity

The residents of the HTP can open and use accounts with foreign banks without permission from Belarus Central Bank. Moreover, electronic money transactions – receiving money, conducting foreign exchange transactions on a post-facto basis, making contributions to the authorized capital, as well as buying a share in a foreign company – are not limited. Even though the Belarusian legislation on foreign trade operations regulates data on processes, it does not apply to the residents of the HTP, and thus gives certain freedom to international investors in conducting foreign economic activity.

6. Simplified visa requirements

Visa procedures and requirements have been significantly simplified for foreign employees and founders of High-Tech Park resident companies. For instance, residents are not required to obtain special permits before hiring foreign specialists. It is the employer that is obliged by law to process and obtain the necessary papers. Company employees have a visa-free entry with a maximum stay of 180 days. A temporary residence permit in Belarus is issued in a fast-track procedure.

Conclusion

Creating and running a blockchain and cryptocurrency business within the framework of Belarus legislation has become more open and accessible for both domestic and foreign businesses. By registering as a resident of the High Technologies Park, companies receive a bunch of advantages – obtaining legal status for cryptocurrency, tax breaks and freedom of foreign economic activity. Embodying the world`s best practices, Decree No. 8 guarantees the legality and security of doing cryptocurrency business.

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