Belarus to ban P2P crypto transactions.

  • In 2022, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree allowing the free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the country.
  • This announcement seems to contradict Belarus’ previous stance on cryptocurrencies.
  • If implemented, Belarusians will not be allowed to use peer-to-peer crypto exchanges.

The foreign ministry of Belarus is currently drafting new legislation to ban peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions, including Bitcoin.

On July 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Belarus made a formal announcement on Telegram regarding the new legislation that will prohibit P2P cryptocurrency transactions for individuals.

This announcement by the MFA goes against the recent laws passed by Belarus endorsing the free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in 2022.

Belarus cites high rate of cybercrime

The authorities cited Belarus’ high rate of cybercrime and stated that local prosecutors have already prevented 27 citizens from offering “illegal crypto exchange services” since the beginning of the year.

The total earnings from these illicit activities amount to approximately 22 million Belarusian rubles ($8.7 million).

According to the foreign ministry, P2P cryptocurrency services are in demand among thieves who convert and launder stolen funds, transferring money to the organizers or participants of criminal schemes.

The MFA will prohibit individuals from engaging in P2P transactions and will only allow cryptocurrency exchanges registered with Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP) to facilitate cryptocurrency exchanges. The aim is to eliminate illicit activities. The MFA also intends to implement a system that will make it impossible to withdraw money obtained from illegal activities, similar to the process for exchanging foreign currencies.