In 2018 Belarus entered a new niche of IT sector – cryptocurrency – by adopting a new Presidential decree #8.
After that 2 cryptocurrency exchanges appeared in Minsk developed by Belarusian engineers. One of them Currency.com became the first cryptocurrency exchange registered in the High Technology Park since the adoption of Decree No. 8. The project investors were VP Capital Victor Prokopeni and Larnabel Ventures Said Gutseriev. The amount of investment in a startup in the message of the companies did not disclose.
In accordance with the requirements of the High-Tech Park, the crypto-exchange must undergo a periodic audit of one of the Big Four companies. Currency.com Bel’s audit partner is Deloitte.
In addition to the activities of the crypto exchange, Currency.com will provide companies with ICO (initial coin offering) and TSO (tokenised securities offering) services for projects approved by the startup board.
Another cryptocurrency trading platform, iExchange, began operating in the Belarusian capital Minsk this month, aiming to attract investors from the CIS market of Russia and the former Soviet states.
Co-founder Igor Snizhko said Belarus was the best option because it had a regulatory framework that other countries in the region lacked.
Belarus demands audits of issuers of digital coins and details of the projects underpinning any issuance. For trading platforms, the rules include keeping tabs on suspicious transactions to meet international money laundering standards.
“For many the CIS market is very promising and very dangerous at the same time,” he added. “Many large and accomplished players are still afraid of one factor – a lack of transparency. We didn’t want to work in any ‘grey’ jurisdiction.”
Sweeteners offered by Belarus include tax breaks for companies mining or trading cryptocurrencies. The rules, described by PwC as “carrots with no sticks,” also give firms looser rules on currency controls and visas.
In the United States, by contrast, digital coin transactions are taxable. In Britain, capital gains taxes apply.
iExchange said it had also initially looked at other countries including Estonia and Malta, but chose Belarus because of its proximity to its target market.