- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in 2022 signed a decree allowing free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the country.
- The announcement somewhat seems to contradict the previous stand that Belarus has had on cryptocurrencies.
- If effected, Belarusians will not be allowed to use peer-to-peer crypto exchanges.
The foreign ministry of Belarus is drafting new legislation to outlaw peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
On July 2, the Republic of Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) made a formal announcement on Telegram regarding the new legislation that will outlaw peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions for individuals.
Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announcement runs somewhat afoul of the recent laws that Belarus has passed. President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus officially endorsed the free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in 2022.
Belarus cites high rate of cybercrime
The authorities cited Belarus’ high rate of cybercrime and claimed that since the year’s beginning, local prosecutors have stopped 27 citizens from offering “illegal crypto exchange services.”
The total earning from illicit earnings totalled about 22 million Belarusian rubles ($8.7 million).
According to the foreign ministry, cryptocurrency P2P services are “in demand among thieves who cash out and convert stolen funds and transfer money to criminal scheme organizers or participants.”
The MFA will forbid individuals from P2P and only permit them to exchange cryptocurrencies only through cryptocurrency exchanges registered with Belarus Hi-Tech Park in order to eradicate such illicit activity (HTP). It also stated that it intends to implement a practice that will make it “impossible to withdraw money obtained from illegal activity,” similar to the process for exchanging foreign currencies.