70 new residents have been added to Belarus-based Hi-Tech Park (HTP), ensuring its spot as the regional leader of innovation.
Notable companies such as TapLab, Onde, and Peach Entertainment are just a few of those now registered with HTP, according to the Belarusian tech news agency, Dev.by. These new additions put HTP’s membership at 454, only 46 away from the 500 mark, signaling that HTP is the place to be for all things IT, including blockchain technology.
“We’re very much satisfied seeing more HTP applicants with diverse business models. In addition to that, our long-standing residents keep expanding their capabilities in terms of technology monetization. All this has become possible thanks to the Decree No. 8,”
said Ivan Zhiznevsky, HTP’s Deputy Director, referencing the 2017 law “On the Development of Digital Economy” passed in Belarus.
What Is HTP?
Hi-Tech Park is the only technological hub of its kind in Belarus, bringing together product companies and IT services vendors alike. Close to one billion people across the globe are currently using mobile apps developed by HTP residents. It is the powerhouse behind the creators of World of Tanks, Viber, and many other popular products. To wit, World of Tanks has more than 75 million registered players worldwide.
HTP’s birth is traced back to a law adopted in 2005 by the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko, intended to advance local IT innovation and competition. Members of the HTP receive multiple perks, such as exemption from corporate taxes and customs duties, as well as exposure to the industry’s brightest workforce.
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HTP and Blockchain: The New Focal Point
Most recently, HTP took the lead in designing and enforcing new blockchain-centered regulations. Put forth in December 2018, they ensure blockchain and cryptocurrency-related products are being developed, and services rendered, under a set of guidelines that benefit both companies and their customers.
The regulations focused on a variety of aspects, such as requirements to the client company, which require that all entities wishing to work with HTP must have key executive roles in their business, as well as a positive reputation in the industry.
Additionally, a regulation concerning smart contracts requires all contracts to be audited and validated, according to the industry’s security and reliability standards. Plus, there are also a variety of regulations concerning investors, token advertising and cybersecurity, all intended to make company and customer interaction more transparent.
A Call for International Partners
Being among the first countries in the world to officially introduce the legislative framework for blockchain and cryptocurrency, Belarus has become the face of blockchain development. This is why HTP has become the gateway for foreign blockchain-related companies looking to benefit from the advanced Belarusian legislation through partnerships with HTP residents.
In a very personal example, OpenLedger has entered into a partnership with Aetsoft, a Belarusian blockchain development company and HTP resident, to develop new products. This proves how valuable the new legislative climate can be for international cooperation, and suggests more companies will follow suit to gain foothold in Belarus.
What Does This Growth Mean for Belarus?
As HTP’s membership continues to grow, so do its technological exports. The annual volume of export of the HTP residents has increased dramatically over the years, hitting $1.25 billion in 2017 and showing a 20-25% year-to-year increase.
Growth to HTP means growth to the Belarusian economy. Corporations everywhere are flocking to the country to take advantage of its technological prowess. The increase in IT jobs, provided through the support of HTP, has given Belarusians new opportunities for improving their livelihood. The expanding technology sector means more education and more jobs for the country’s residents.