January 21 marked another milestone in the blockchain history of Belarus, an Eastern-European country that’s been pioneering legislative and regulatory aspects of blockchain since 2017.
BelInvestBank, the seventh largest Belarusian bank in assets, reported the issue of the first ever banker’s guarantee on blockchain in the country on January 21. The guarantee was issued in favor of non-banking financial institution “Single Settlement and Information Space,” known as ERIP, while the deal involved three other local banking institutions – Moskva-Minsk Bank and VTB Bank as the principals, and BTA Bank as the other guarantor.
The technological foundation for the transaction is complex and consists of a few national-scale systems: the digital Register of Banker’s Guarantees integrated with a blockchain, and the System of Open Cooperation. The blockchain was developed by the Center of Banking Technologies, the open joint-stock company founded back in 1997 to develop digital solutions specifically for Belarusian banking and financial institutions.
The technology that made this transaction possible is said to bring multiple benefits to the domain. According to the official release, “the technology allows to issue banker’s guarantees, monitor their statuses in real time, reduce the working time needed to carry out such a transaction, simplify document exchange as well as speed up all the processes related to issuing and monitoring of guarantees.”
This is the first step in the wider adoption of blockchain in Belarus. As reported in the statement, the next step is to be directed at issuing banker’s guarantees in favor of Belarusian customs authorities. Meanwhile, every bank as well as non-banking financial institution can join the blockchain and start operating within this decentralized network.
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Endorsed by the Government
Interestingly enough, the blockchain-integrated Register of Banker’s Guarantees is operated by the National Bank of Belarus itself. Additionally, with over 99% of BelInvestBank’s charter capital owned by the state, this makes the first ever blockchain-based banker’s guarantee transaction fully backed by the Belarusian government.
This only confirms the general course towards blockchain innovation adopted in Belarus. Just recently, the country announced a string of regulations aimed to bring blockchain-related business activities within a legal framework. The regulations were designed and enforced in participation with the Hi-Tech Park of Belarus, home to almost 500 tech companies including OpenLedger’s partner Aetsoft.
The framework is set to create more transparency and safety for all the counterparties involved in ICOs, cryptocurrency exchange, and blockchain-based software development. Altogether, this places Belarus on the map of countries that acknowledge and welcome the groundbreaking potential of blockchain technology.
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