Belarus Implementing Complete Cryptocurrency Regulation


December 1, 2018 12:54 AM

Belarus is following a model set forth by Malta, which saw an influx of interest from cryptocurrency companies after putting in place its own regulatory framework.

After previously implementing a decree governing cryptocurrency in Belarus, the eastern European country’s government has now accepted a detailed regulatory framework proposed by the Belarus High-Technologies Park (HTP).

The HTP is a special economic zone in Belarus that operates on the principle of “extraterritoriality,” meaning companies anywhere in the country registered with the HTP can take advantage of its sandbox-style advantages. The zone was established to drive digital innovation, and its members can leverage a special tax and regulatory environment to their benefit.

Now, the HTP appears to have taken an active role in deciding a more detailed framework of operation for the cryptocurrency space in Belarus.

In 2017, Belarus implemented its Decree No. 8, titled “On the Development of the Digital Economy,” in which it provided cryptocurrency companies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) legal context, effectively legalizing cryptocurrency in the country.

HTP has had a part to play. The HTP administration has worked with the Belarus National Bank, the Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee, international experts, and other bodies, reports local news outlet to publish a set of regulatory documents and requirements for cryptocurrency-related businesses.

The framework’s financial requirements, reports, comply with established financial regulations and also take into account outside regulations. For instance, personal data protection standards are equivalent to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The rules have been accepted by Belarusian authorities to provide complete legal regulation for cryptocurrency businesses in the country. The requirements cover new applicants entering the space, platform operators, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as “internal control rules.” The latter refer to anti-money laundering (AML), counter financing of terrorism (CFT), and know your customer (KYC) rules.

Martin Hess, former deputy head of the National Bank of Switzerland and partner of law firm Wenger & Vieli AG said, “Belarus has developed a unique digital asset management project,” adding the approach gives “speed and simplicity for businesses.”

The development for Belarus may encourage innovation and expansion in the cryptocurrency space. It follows similar approaches by other regions, like Malta, which is benefitting from an influx of cryptocurrency companies to its economy after implementing its own detailed regulatory framework. 

Melanie Kramer is a freelance FinTech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency writer based between France and Canada. Melanie has studied, and retains an avid interest in, global politics, business, and economics.

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