Belarus legalises laissez-faire use of crypto-currencies as of March 2018

By Andrei Skvarsky.

In an unexpectedly liberal move, the president of Belarus, a country with a state-controlled and largely Soviet-style economy, has issued a decree to give practically unlimited freedom for crypto-currency mining and transactions.

Companies would be free to run initial coin offerings (ICOs) under Alexander Lukashenko’s decree, which comes into force late in March 2018.

Individuals would be able to mine, exchange, sell or buy cryptocurrency for Belarussian roubles, foreign currency or any other electronic money. None of these operations will be officially considered entrepreneurial activity, and consequently any of them will be tax-exempt until January 1, 2018. No profits from crypto-currency transactions would need to be declared to the tax authorities.

Crypto-currency would also be inheritable just as any other property.

Individuals would generally be free to use crypto money any way they liked.

The decree, which is described in its text as “provisional” and is entitled “On the Development of Digital Economics”, is subject to parliamentary approval but this is unlikely to be more than a rubber-stamp procedure.

“Belarus is effectively becoming the first state in the world to open extensive opportunities for the use of blockchain technology,” Belarussian state news agency BELTA quoted Lukashenko as saying.

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