Cameron McCloskey
by on January 13, 2019
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It has long since been a secret that Belarus is the undisputed world leader when it comes to implementing a constructive environment for the adoption and development of blockchain technology. The use of cryptocurrency, running of ICOs utilisation of blockchain technology and smart contracts were fully legalised in the country in March 2018 when Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, signed a presidential decree (No. 8) enforcing the new law. Furthermore, a range of tax breaks and legal incentives for companies within the sphere of cryptocurrency and blockchain have also been implemented by the government of Belarus. The numerous state-backed benefits to blockchain-based business in the country have been extended past the original date in 2023 and are now guaranteed until 2049. The president has received much praise for what is deemed by many as excellent foresight in the field.

By fostering such an amicable attitude to blockchain technology, Belarus has accelerated the awareness of such technologies to its wider population. One of the effects of this is that the blockchain industry within the country has begun taking steps towards maturity, a lack of which is an issue presently faced worldwide. Probably the best example of this in practice is the Association “Support and Development of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies” (Belarus).According to the Belarusian legislation, the association is described as a non-profit union of organisations, both commercial and non-profit, engaged in the representation and realisation of collective member interests. Essentially, the association can be thought of as a trade union for the blockchain industry involving organisations instead of individual workers.

Registered in Minsk in February 2018, the Association “Support and Development of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies” (Belarus) is almost a year old at the time of writing. The association was established by Timofey Polomannyy (Chairman of the Board), Trofim Eremenko, Ivan Pshenay, Yaraslau Kot and Alex Urban who brought together their common interests in the future of blockchain technology as well as those of their own businesses which became the founding companies that formed the association. The idea for a cryptocurrency-related association actually predated the presidential decree, yet it was the presidential decree itself that precipitated the formation of the association by making it possible to register an organisation with such aims. At present, the association is comprised of 7 organisations including Skeincoin LLC. More information about the companies involved in the association can be found at the end of the article.

Logo for the Association “Support and Development of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies” (Belarus)

The Board of the Association sees the association as an entity to bring the future of blockchain closer by providing an official platform for the blockchain community and describe their goals simply under two main points:

  • To continue forming and strengthening the blockchain community
  • To implement blockchain technology in all spheres of life be it government, agriculture or industry.

Despite the ambitious all-encompassing goals, the Board of the Association have stated that as an independent union of organisations, the course taken by the association will obey the will of its members. Attainment of the wider goals is a vision dependent of the continued growth of the association itself and will require encompassment of further businesses or organisations. It is also important to note that the association works to assist governments or outside business in their ventures to incorporate blockchain technology. In this sense the association acts as a portal for which the traditional world can access the world of blockchain. Outside of the commercial interests of its members, a strong drive to provide educational material is intrinsic to the goals of the association. The association strives to continue publishing articles and speaking at conferences to make blockchain technology something that can be understood by everyone and not something to be feared or made inaccessible.

Regular meetings have been held with representatives of member companies since the inception of the union and over the course of 2018 the association was involved in numerous projects including:

  • Government blockchain projects for both Belarus and Kazakhstan
  • The formation of blockchain courses by VINT School (association member)
  • Cooperation with Skeincoin LLC (association member)
  • Formation of partnerships with projects including Lordmancer II, BountyHub, ITOhub, CryptoBarons, Wicrypt, eva.coop, Qubit AG, Worldopo
  • Crypto Games Conference 2018 held in Minsk

The effectiveness of operations by the association only increases with the addition of new members who help each other achieve goals by sharing their skills, abilities and experiences. By creating such a hub for which support is easily accessed by association members, the potential of the interconnected network of organisations only grows exponentially, becoming more finely tuned and adapted to the industry as a whole over time. Important contact information, details on the current market state and the opportunity for free event tickets are all offered by the association for its members upon request. Services provided by the founding companies are offered to member organisations at a discounted rate. The dedication the Cryptocurrency Association of Belarus has to the betterment of the industry is certainly something to be respected.

The growing influence of the association is also remarkable. As a member of the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship (RCE), the intersectoral business association that unite sectoral business associations and the most reputable organisations within the Republic of Belarus, the Association truly stands shoulder to shoulder with some of Belarus’ most reputable organisations, cementing it as an increasingly well-known and esteemed organisation in the country. However, the Association’s influence is not limited to Belarus. Negotiations with over 20 foreign blockchain associations with similar goals and outlook have been undertaken and memorandums of cooperation have been signed with the Israeli Blockchain Association, The Blockchain Association of Eurasia and the Portuguese Cryptocurrency Association (Associação Blockchain e Criptomoedas). Such progress gives the association a place on the world stage of blockchain and extends its sphere of influence far and wide. 

Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship

So where next for Blockchain? The Association has a positive outlook for the adoption of blockchain technology worldwide in the future. It is the belief of association members that uses for blockchain technology will span from industry to agriculture to uses in government. Such technological advances will allow for increased automation, efficiency and transparency for everything in society. Members share the opinion that cryptocurrency will evolve away from its current form into security tokens tied to major projects within a framework that will compare to the magnitude of a fourth industrial revolution.

It is fair to say that the train has definitely left the station with regards to the Association “Support and Development of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies” (Belarus) and it shows no signs of slowing down. Members of the association have hit the ground running and continue to create opportunity and progress with each day that goes by. 2019 will bring new challenges, yet as the association grows its increased ability and resilience will shine through providing a guiding light to the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrency Association of Belarus website: http://cryptoassociation.by

Association Members

Foreign Blockchain Associations and Partners of Association “Support and Development of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies” (Belarus)

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