• Belarus is planning to ban P2P crypto transactions.
• The Foreign Ministry of Belarus is drafting new legislation to outlaw peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions for individuals.
• This ban goes against the laws that Belarus passed in 2022, which allowed free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Belarus Planning to Ban P2P Crypto Transactions
The Republic of Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has announced its plans to draft new legislation outlawing peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions for individuals within the country. This would go against the laws that were passed in 2022 by President Alexander Lukashenko, which allowed for free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Belarus.
High Rate of Cybercrime Cited
The MFA cited its high rate of cybercrime as a reason for this proposed ban, claiming that since the start of the year prosecutors had stopped 27 citizens from offering “illegal crypto exchange services” with total earnings amounting to 22 million Belarusian rubles ($8.7 million). It was also noted that peer-to-peer services were “in demand among thieves who cash out and convert stolen funds and transfer money to criminal scheme organizers or participants” and thus needed to be outlawed in order to eradicate such activity.
No More P2P Transactions Allowed
Under these proposed regulations, individuals would no longer be able to make use of peer-to-peer services when exchanging cryptocurrencies; instead they will only be able to do so through cryptocurrency exchanges registered with Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP). Additionally, it was stated that there will be measures put into place in order “to make it impossible to withdraw money obtained from illegal activity”, similar to those used when exchanging foreign currencies.
Contradiction With Previous Laws
This announcement somewhat contradicts the previous stand that Belarus had on cryptocurrencies when President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree allowing free circulation of Bitcoin and other cryptos within the country back in 2022. It remains unclear whether or not this decision will come into effect despite these earlier regulations being set forth by the government at the time.