The Republic of Belarus government has officially recognized bitcoin as a legal currency and has legalized initial coin offerings (ICOs), smart contracts, and blockchain development. The measures have been approved by Belarusian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko.

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Belarus has recognized bitcoin as a legal currency and has legalized ICOs and transactions in cryptocurrencies, in an effort to stimulate private sector growth and attract foreign investment.

Per Reuters, President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on the move on Thursday.

“The main goal of the document is to create such conditions that global IT companies would come to Belarus, open their representative offices, development centers, and create popular products in the world,” the official document read.

The decree legalizes initial coin offerings and transactions in cryptocurrencies, including their exchange for traditional currencies on Belarusian exchanges. Unlike several major bitcoin markets, the Belarus government will not tax mining, trading of cryptocurrencies, and sale of digital tokens. According to the decree, activities related to mining, creation, acquisition, and sale of digital tokens will remain tax-free until 2023.

“All smart and intelligent people know what stability and order are,” state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying earlier this month. “They’re all trying to reach that shore. We’re prepared to arrange a dock and even a harbor.”

The government of Belarus aims to provide full support towards decentralized applications and blockchain projects, working towards deploying smart contracts at a large scale.

“Having adopted the Decree, Belarus becomes one of the world’s most comfortable jurisdictions for IT business. Besides, the country is creating favorable conditions for the development of blockchain technology and businesses based on it,” Belarus Hi-Tech Park director Vsevolod Yanchevsky said.

The recent Belarus bitcoin, ICOs and blockchain progressive measures prove the government fully supports the fintech sector.

“The decree is a breakthrough for Belarus,” Anton Myakishev, the head of Microsoft’s Belarus office, told Reuters.

Belarus bitcoin recognized, ICOs legalized – Image source: Sergey Nik Melnik

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