Belarus Tech Industry On The Brink Of Collapse As BelarusBank Unveils Crypto Exchange

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The latest report from Belarus claims that the tech industry has fallen as a state-owned financial institution launches a crypto exchange.

According to a report that was submitted by a local news outlet, PrimePress, claims that a Belarus state-owned financial institution just launched the crypto exchange this week. Even though Belarus is regarded as one of the most authoritarian countries across Europe, it has shown great promise in adopting digital assets, hence the Belarubank launching its crypto exchange.

In the statement that was released by the country’s financial powerhouse, it said that the crypto exchange is a collaboration with a famous crypto firm in the country, White Bird, and will allow its citizens and Russians to purchase Bitcoin.

Belarus legitimized crypto trading in 2018

This launch has signified that the government of the authoritarian state no longer have their doubts about crypto assets. Notably, the government of Belarus has, at a point in time, used digital assets to charm its tech workers in the last two years. But with the current unrest across the country, things might signify the end of an era in the coming days for the country’s tech sector.

Belarus started their journey into the crypto space in 2018 after the government of the country announced that crypto trading in the country is now legal and went ahead to grant private and public entities that wish to venture into the sector tax exemptions. Reports claimed then that the announcement was part of the government’s move to woo young tech startups and promise that it would not bother them.

However, this saw huge success and tech startups started springing up across the country. According to a statistic released at the end of 2019, Belarus has seen nothing less than 1,500 tech startups across the country. This sector accounted for about 5.7% of the country’s GDP and about 50% of its growth.

Tech startups flee the country as protest breaks out

Things were going on as planned, and the economy was enjoying a robust return until several protest and unrest broke out in the country in the summer, which sent the tech startups packing. The protest was simple: the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, was going for his sixth term, and citizens across the country were kicking against it.

Despite the protests, Lukashenko was eventually sworn in around September, and this new further ignited the rally. According to a political analyst, Filip Rambousek, Tech startups have had to flee the country, and most of them have moved to either one of Ukraine, Russia, or the Baltic states.

Furthermore, an automation firm located in Minsk has said four of its managers are already in jail for lending their voice to the protest. After a survey was carried out in the company, they realized that most of its employees were interested in leaving the country. With the company eventually moving to Ukraine, it shows that citizens were interested in leaving the country.