Belarus Pursues Clampdown on P2P Crypto Transactions: Report

Belarus Pursues Clampdown on P2P Crypto Transactions: Report

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The Belarusian government has proposed a ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions on crypto assets such as Bitcoin in a bid to address the rising rate of cybercrime in the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Belarus detailed the new legislation’s goals and its subsequent on crypto exchange users.

Crypto transactions will only be possible via exchanges for transparency and control purposes.

  • According to an official statement issued on July 2nd, the MFA claimed that the local prosecutors have already cracked down on 27 citizens involved in illegal crypto exchange services, with a whopping $8.7 million in illicit gains.
  • The authorities cited the rampant use of P2P crypto services by fraudsters to cash out, convert stolen gains, and transfer money within criminal networks as the decision for their move.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs is working on legislative innovations that prohibit transactions for the exchange of cryptocurrency between individuals. For transparency and control, citizens will be allowed to carry out such financial transactions only through the HTP exchanges.”

  • The ministry also plans to impose a limit on crypto exchanges to registered platforms only.
  • The latest move is a drastic shift from its existing policies, which have been mostly defined as crypto-friendly. Last year, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree that focused on the creation of a crypto wallet registry to prevent illicit activities.
  • More recently, the Belarusian government extended tax exemptions for businesses working in crypto until January 2025.
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