Even as many governments have been critical towards ICOs and digital currencies, the government of Belarus has legalized the use of digital currencies and ICO which is the cryptocurrency based crowdsale that has been in the news throughout last year.
It is yet unclear if the government of Belarus took that decision as a result of a recent announcement by Russia that it was moving to streamline the activities related to the blockchain technology, especially ICOs. The Russian government had announced that it would be utilizing blockchain technology for data and documentation as well as mapped out a draft paper that was sent to the State Duma on ICO regulations which are seen as an indication that ICO has come to stay in the country.
ICO has faced intense opposition from many governments all over the world which see the digital currency based crowdsale as encouraging borderless economy, a novel concept which these governments are unwilling to tolerate. This has resulted in ICO ban in some countries and restrictions in others. Belarus has however joined a few countries that have liberalized the use of blockchain and blockchain based crowdfunding activities.
The government went further to announce that ICO and other blockchain related businesses shall be tax-free in the country for 5 years, essentially making the country a blockchain business haven. The move was made to enable such businesses to gain ample time and get properly established before any tax regimes are implemented.
This is so unlike most governments such as EU which is working on one form of taxation or the other on blockchain transactions. Despite the new Belarus policy, the National Bank of Belarus announced that it was not favorably disposed towards blockchain legalization, a stance that did not surprise industry watchers. Most banks and financial institutions have expressed skepticism at cryptocurrencies, expressing reservations on their effect on national economies.
Despite such reservations, digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have appreciated so much that the financial world has been compelled to take notice of them and this has kept all wondering on how to harness the innovative concept.