The president of Belarus has offered generous tax benefits and other incentives to information technology firms to help turn the ex-Soviet nation into a leader in digital currencies.
President Alexander Lukashenko said his Friday decree is intended to create "unique competitive advantages to attract technologies, capitals and talented people from around the world."
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The move would encourage the use of digital currencies and offer sweeping tax incentives to those who mine bitcoins.
The cryptocurrency has been notoriously volatile, with a significant crash every quarter and a particularly unstable week. Friday, it lost a quarter of its value in the past 24 hours.
Lukashenko's decree represents a sharp turn for the Soviet-style, government-controlled economy he's run since 1994 with little tolerance for dissent and most economic assets in state hands.