On March 28, the Decree On the Development of the Digital Economy officially came into force in Belarus. It gives green light to the cryptocurrency-related activity. Since the President signed the document in December 2017, the cryptocurrency community has been enthusiastic about the legalization of digital assets. On March 6, the standards of cryptocurrency accounting appeared, and the number of offshore companies in the HTP increased to 90%. What has changed since that moment, and what significant progress in this area can we observe today?
The blockchain revolution did not happen
The decree entered into force. However, the lack of a well-developed regulatory and legal framework precluded real changes in the world of cryptocurrencies. But in fact, nothing has changed at all, and the number of practical issues has only increased. It is still not clear how to carry out activities on the exchange of cryptocurrencies and ICO, while remaining within the framework of the right field:
“Practices for the application of the decree standards are not available for today, since virtually no one in the territory of the Republic of Belarus has already been engaged in the exchange of cryptocurrency or ICO,” comments Ilya Salei, senior lawyer of Borovtsov & Salei.
It is necessary to wait
Thus, the blockchain revolution did not happen – more time is needed for real changes. Bitcoin is accepted for payment in bars in Minsk, you can pay for playing golf for cryptocurrency in one of the shopping centers, but no one will get a receipt at the cash-desk – buyers make such transactions at their own risk, staying outside the legal framework.
The problems of banks
Relations between the cryptocurrency and companies remain extremely complicated. Despite official legalization, Belarusian banks are not able to work with the cryptocurrency and in the most progressive country, in terms of the cryptocurrency law, organizations have to search banks in other countries.
Any company operating in the field of cryptocurrency must be registered on the territory of the Republic of Belarus and, accordingly, have an account with a Belarusian bank. All transactions will pass through official operators and Belarusian banks. Many questions still present. Laundering risk is one of them.
It is planned to solve this issue with the help of the Decree of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus of February 15, 2018, No. 62. It will take some time before the necessary normative documents are formed and approved – more time will be required for legislative amendments to start working.
Nevertheless, it’is worth to pay tribute to the High-Tech Park and the government of the Republic of Belarus for the friendly rhetoric of the decree and for the desire to make the market crypto-civilized and convenient for all parties. It’s no secret that the leaders of opinions and the authors of the decree are under great pressure – the views of the whole world are directed at them, and putting experiments on the scale of the whole country is a big responsibility.