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In Unprecedented Move, Belarus First Nation to Legalize Cryptocurrency

If you predicted Eastern Europe would be the home of the first successful cryptocurrency legalization measure, you had us beat. But that’s precisely what’s happened, as the small nation of Belarus has just notched a big milestone in crypto history, becoming the first nation ever to comprehensively legalize cryptocurrency use.

The measure, entitled “On the Development of Digital Economy,” offers a number of domestic guarantees:

  • cryptocurrency use is legal; income and gains tax-free for five years
  • crypto mining is legal; tax-free for five years
  • smart contracts and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) permitted

Not having to declare crypto-based income until 2023 will be enough to win many firms over to Belarus. And that’s the idea, per Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko:

“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.”

It’s a bold move at a pivotal time, as other nations across the world are moving toward more onerous regulations that legally restrict cryptocurrency use.

So, while Belarus wouldn’t have been the most exciting settlement hub for fintech companies hitherto, it’s just carved at an attractive nook as a crypto hub that can offer major benefits to companies looking for nations offering the most lenient regulations possible.

And if all goes well with Belarus’ new regulatory system, there’s no doubt that other nations might follow its lead. Which mean a wave of leniency toward crypto use may be just over the horizon.

What will the United States, or China, or Russia do next? No one knows.

But Belarus isn’t waiting around for the top dogs to make up their minds: it’s going all-in on crypto now.

TLDR: In a heartening world first from a seemingly unlikely place, the nation of Belarus has moved to formally legalize cryptocurrency. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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