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Belarusian President Signs Decree To Legalize Cryptocurrencies

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka speaks at a meeting with businesspeople in Minsk on December 22.

MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed a decree that legalizes transactions in cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.

After signing the decree on December 22, Lukashenka said that the move was aimed at attracting foreign investors and turn Belarus into a regional center for blockchain technology, which makes online transactions faster and more secure as well as anonymous.

Lukashenka said Minsk wanted to create conditions to encourage global information-technology (IT) firms to set up branches, research centers, and production facilities inside Belarus.

The decree makes initial coin offerings and transactions in cryptocurrencies legal and all such trades will not be taxed until January 1, 2023.

Belarus's IT sector is one of the country's few success stories.

The High-Tech Park was created in Minsk in 2006 to spur growth in the IT industry.

Today, there are an estimated 115,000 IT specialists in Belarus, making an average of $1,800 per month, well above the national average.

With reporting by Reuters and BelTA
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