Viktor Prokopenya on Bitcoin and Belarus' IT

Viktor Prokopenya on Bitcoin and Belarus' IT

Viktor Prokopenya, the largest IT entrepreneur and venture investor in Belarus, has given an interview to the program Simple Questions with Egor Khrustalyov. Mr Prokopenya spoke on blockchain, Bitcoin and IT development in Belarus. This is what he says about blockchain.

Some do not like banks for some reason. Suppose you wanted to make a program that will replace all people in the bank. You can communicate with it, you can tell it: "Open an account for me," and it opens the account immediately. You can tell it: "Transfer money from my account to another account" and it transfers it. However, if it was one program on one server, it would be very easy to manipulate it. Someone who has this server. But if we distribute this program to a large number of servers and build on the blockchain technology, it will in fact be independent of who has a particular server.

High-Tech Decree 2.0 in Belarus

Yegor Khrustalev:
Viktor Prokopenya took part in a meeting with the Belarus President on the development of IT in Belarus. After that he wrote on Facebook: "The results of today's meeting on digital economy with the President: the decree will be signed before the end of this year - a superliberal edition, with support for all methods of using blockchain, 100% lack of bureaucracy, any business models... full freedom in hiring foreign specialists, supporting education, institutes of English law and so on. The President supported the idea of ​​significantly improving the quality of teaching English, so that every child can speak English fluently after school. The number of trained specialists will be increased by several times."

Viktor Prokopenya:
There are different countries that have different legal conditions for IT business. The IT decree will be unique. What is unique about Belarus in this decree? The first is very favorable taxation. We still pay taxes, however, at very low rates, compared to our neighbors and in comparison with other countries. What will the new IT decree give Belarus? We are talking about all aspects of regulating blockchain, we are talking about the absence of bureaucracy, opportunities for receiving money from abroad. We are talking about freedom with regard to the use of English law for structuring shareholder agreements, which not every country can boast of. You know, and it is very useful and necessary thing.

The IT industry gives young people a chance and the feeling that you can earn good money.

SEE: Draft decree on Belarus' High-Tech Park: analysis

How many taxes do Belarusian IT engineers pay?

I would not like to see too high expectations today. Because it puts us in a situation where, in fact, we cannot predict what will happen. When the High-Tech Park in Belarus was created, the first years were not very successful. However, then it started to grow, and today we have an industry worth a billion. Today, the IT industry brings a billion dollars to Belarus. And, despite preferential taxation, $300 million of this money goes to the budget. Because IT people pay about $100 million in direct taxes and spend the rest of the money inside the country.

Education in Belarus

If a person expects that tomorrow everything will be taken away from them they will work 12-14 hours a day to create a business or make some achievements but maybe this will be in vain. If people are confident in the future, they will invest, will do business. These will be both national investors and those who come from abroad. Another problem is the level of education. Today we have a significant difference between the level of specialists trained in Belarus and abroad, on average. In Israel every child after school speaks English, which is not the case in Belarus.

Lack of discussion in Belarus

Belarus lacks people who have different opinions. We do not have enough people with whom we can talk and argue with respect to some things that matter. We need more public discussion. We need more people who are not afraid to express their opinion. Using such a collective mind, one can make right decisions. This is a very delicate balance, it is very easy to destroy it. If Belarus had more of this public discussion the country would develop in a different way.

About cryptocurrencies

People who today want to buy some crypto-currencies need to always understand the risks that are associated with it. The risks are colossal! Some exchanges of crypto-currencies could be closed by some regulators, then there will be a huge price drop, huh? We must understand that bitcoin billionaires have very large numbers of bitcoins. If one of them decides to sell them, the price will drop sharply. That is, very suddenly. There are many different technical problems that can arise. I do not want to predict what will happen next, I do not want to make any forecasts in this regard. I want to say that investing is always about risk management. And these kinds of financial instruments need to be bought only for the money that is not critical to you and which you are ready to lose.