Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is expected to sign the draft decree on the Belarusian High-Tech Park (HTP) that will make the use of digital currencies in the country lawful.

Under the draft, virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), as well as mining will already be allowed in the country, while exchanges can trade rubles for cryptocurrencies.

According to major Belarusian information technology (IT) holding firm the Belhard Group CEO Igor Mamonenko, the virtual currencies and ICOs should be fully regulated in order to protect all players in the market.

“The maximum legalization is needed…The existing laws do not prohibit such activity directly, but it is necessary to reform the legislation so that it protects all participants.”

Brief details of the decree

The signing by Lukashenko of a decree to advance the establishment of an IT-focused special economic zone in 2005 has led to the creation of the HTP, which is modeled to the Silicon Valley in the US. Companies that locate in the HTP are exempted from income tax, value-added tax, property tax and land tax.

To further attract companies to establish their operations in the park, the new decree was drafted with an aim to facilitate the inflow of foreign investments and integrate new technologies and innovations in the HTP. These new technologies and innovations include the virtual currencies and ICOs.

In its report on the decree, local newspaper Tut By Media stated that the decree will lead to the civil circulation of Blockchain technology-based digital currencies in the country.

“The decree provides for the introduction into civil circulation of cryptocurrencies and tokens based on the technology of Blockchain. A comprehensive legal regulation is proposed so that HTP residents can provide crypto exchange services, exchange cryptocurrencies, attract financing through ICOs, [and] use cryptocurrencies and tokens in civil circulation.”