April 19, 2024
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Belarus Takes Aim at Illicit Crypto Transactions, Plans to Ban P2P Exchanges

In an effort to combat rising cybercrime and curb illicit activities related to cryptocurrencies, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced plans to introduce legal amendments that will prohibit peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).

In an official announcement on July 2, the ministry highlighted the alarming rate of cybercrime in Belarus, revealing that local prosecutors have already taken action against 27 individuals involved in providing “illegal crypto exchange services” since the beginning of 2023. These individuals collectively generated illicit revenues of nearly 22 million Belarusian rubles (equivalent to $8.7 million).

The ministry emphasized that P2P crypto services have become a preferred tool for fraudsters to cash out and convert stolen funds, facilitating the transfer of money to organizers and participants involved in various criminal schemes.

To address this growing concern, the ministry intends to prohibit individuals from engaging in P2P cryptocurrency transactions. Instead, individuals will be limited to conducting crypto exchanges solely through exchanges registered with Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP), the country’s designated regulatory authority.

The move to restrict P2P transactions and channel crypto exchanges exclusively through registered platforms is aimed at strengthening oversight and preventing the misuse of digital currencies for illicit purposes. By enforcing stricter regulations, Belarus seeks to safeguard its financial system and protect its citizens from falling victim to fraudulent activities.

As the proposed legal amendments take shape, the Belarusian government aims to strike a balance between promoting innovation in the cryptocurrency sector and ensuring the integrity and security of the financial ecosystem.

Image credits: Cryptostock(Pixabay)

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