With rising Crypto crimes, Belarus to ban P2P Cryptocurrency transactions

The Republic of Belarus is famous for its favourable conditions for carrying out crypto-business for neighbouring countries, but it is not included at the top of the best. This is primarily due to the ban on paying for products or any services with cryptocurrency if the company is not an HTP resident. At the same time, transactions with tokens do not require VAT, which significantly improves the position of the crypto business in Belarus.

It is estimated that over 350 thousand people, 3.73% of Belarus’ total population, currently own cryptocurrency. Belarus has made a bold leap to encourage the use of cryptocurrencies.

On December 21, 2017, the President of Belarus signed into law “The Development of a Digital Economy”. Since coming into effect on 22 March 2018, businesses based on blockchain technology have become legally regulated in the Republic of Belarus.

Also, Belarus has emerged as a pioneer in the adoption of blockchain technology in recent years because of several legislations which have made blockchain ventures legal. One of the key pieces of legislation in this regard was the Decree On the Development of the Digital Economy which was signed in December 2017 by the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko.

According to the official press release, the Decree includes measures to liberalize the conditions for conducting business in the sphere of high technologies. The Decree makes initial coin offerings and transactions in cryptocurrencies legal and these trades will be exempted from taxes until January 1, 2023.

Keeping up with other developments in the country related to distributed ledger technology, Belarus launched its first cryptocurrency exchange Currency.com in 2019 which allowed its citizens to trade cryptocurrencies for one another and invest in equity through Bitcoins. This is unprecedented in the world and helps foreign investment in Belarus. Here’s a look at the state of Belarus’ first cryptocurrency exchange and what it means for the country’s economic potential.

In a decisive move to combat cybercrime and strengthen its fight against illicit activities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus has announced its intention to introduce a groundbreaking bill. This proposed legislation aims to ban the transfer of cryptocurrencies among individuals, sending shockwaves through the nation’s crypto community. As Belarus takes a firm stand against crypto-related criminal activities, it also navigates the delicate balance of fostering a thriving and secure digital asset ecosystem.

The ban, if implemented, would mark a significant shift in the crypto landscape of Belarus. Peer-to-peer transfers of cryptocurrencies within the country would no longer be permitted, restricting individuals to conduct crypto transactions solely through authorized exchanges.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs communicated this pivotal decision through its official VKontakte social network page, signalling the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges posed by illicit activities involving digital assets.

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 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.

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