The upward trajectory of the cryptocurrencies somewhat came to a halt as for some time now, the market keeps declining rather than rising as many investors would obviously previous. Many digital currencies appear to be heading towards the ground with the cryptocurrency markets losing $7 billion in over half an hour on the 4th of this month.
Since the crypto market recorded an unprecedented rise in crypto value late last year, it hasn’t been all good news since then. January saw the total market capitalization of cryptocurrency rise to $830 billion, a feat which since fallen to a pale shadow of itself. The current total cryptocurrency market capitalization stands around $260 billion and still isn’t clear of the possibility of deteriorating further, given the nature of the market at the moment, with some investors caught in a dilemma of whether to wait on it to bounce back or part ways with cryptocurrencies.
However, one country is having none of that and that country is Belarus. The landlocked Eastern European country, which happens to be one of the most crypto-supportive countries in the world have given the green light for virtual currency and blockchain investments to operate freely in the country. The decision has since been coming as the Eastern European country for some time now has been calling for policies that will see the crypto market and blockchain industry flourish and with this finally achieved, the country is now well equipped to dive much deeper into the cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as well as attract suitable investors.
The president of the country, Alexander Lukashenko, over the past months has stressed on the need for his country to benefit from the development of information and communication technologies. Speaking to reporters in December last year, he was quoted as saying: “Belarus should become attractive for talented people and successful companies.” He added that “Belarus has what it takes to develop artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain technologies.”
“On the Development of the Digital Economy,” a presidential decree which was released on the 28th of March, considers crypto-related activities as legal in the country. This comes after the government recently announced new cryptocurrency standards in the country.
What the decree holds in store for the crypto industry
With the decree in place, cryptocurrency business activities, initial coin offerings (ICOs), smart contract issuances, exchange services and cryptocurrency are all legal in the country, with no restrictions in storing issuing or trading digital tokens. Unlike many countries, the presidential decree, in addition, prevents taxes imposed on crypto-related activities and businesses in the country. This means that companies in the cryptocurrency business will operate without tax for five years. Private Cryptocurrency miners and traders in Belarus also stand to enjoy similar incentives for the same time frame.
Another benefit of the presidential decree is that international cryptocurrency companies are also allowed to operate in the country, without taxes also for the coming five years. However, to enjoy these services, firms and businesses will have to register as members of the Belarus High Technologies Park (HTP), as members will be free from applying for work permits, alongside a special visa waiver regime and a temporary residence status in Belarus.
To crown it all, a special council will be set up with its primary responsibility being seeing to the development of the digital economy as well as coordinating digitization and will be headed by the Prime Minister of the Country, Andrei Kobyakov.
What the decree holds in store for the country
Aside from the huge income, the government of Belarus will generate from cryptocurrency firms and activities, they are also in line for some benefits too. In wake of the new decree, the country implemented a new standard which is to adjust accounting practices to address cryptocurrencies. The new standard classifies digital tokens as cryptocurrencies in the new provisions, thus according to their acquisition and intended use.
Belarus’s central bank has also had also implemented some changes. They are focusing on the supervision of commercial banks and other financial institutions as well as the introduction of new requirements for the internal control procedures. A government press release stated that the aim of the new rules is to prevent the legalization of illegal incomes, terrorism financing and the rapid growth of weapons of mass destruction.
Additional reports from government officials claim that the new regulations are looking at perfecting anti-money laundering measure, something which is well known in the crypto business and also to improve the state of cybersecurity in the country.
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