• Belarus is considering introducing legislation to ban peer-to-peer crypto transactions and require citizens to use regulated exchanges.
• The country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs claims cybercrime is rampant, with scammers cashing out stolen funds into cryptocurrencies.
• MVD has cracked down on 27 individuals providing “illegal crypto exchange services” since the start of 2021.
Belarus Eyes Ban on Peer-to-Peer Crypto Transactions
Belarus said it is looking to introduce legislation that would ban peer-to-peer crypto transactions in an effort to combat cybercrimes and make it difficult for criminals to launder their funds. The country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) said the move would help stop the proliferation of illegal activities related to cryptocurrencies, such as scammers cashing out stolen funds into cryptocurrencies.
Cybercrime Rampant in Belarus
MVD further claimed that the country’s cybercrime unit has cracked down on 27 citizens providing “illegal crypto exchange services” since the beginning of 2021, with a total income from these activities amounting to around 22 million Rubles ($8.7 million). To prevent similar activities from taking place in future, the ministry is currently working on proposed regulations that will require citizens to use regulated crypto exchanges instead of engaging in peer-to-peer trading.
Regulations Aimed at Fighting Criminal Activity
The proposed regulations are intended not only to fight criminal activity but also protect everyday investors from potential scams and frauds associated with unregulated exchanges. It is unclear when or if the new regulations will be implemented, but it appears that Belarus is taking steps towards tightening its grip over cryptocurrency usage within its borders.
Impact on Local Cryptocurrency Markets
If approved, this could have a significant impact on local cryptocurrency markets as well as companies operating within them, potentially leading to tighter restrictions and more stringent compliance requirements for businesses servicing customers in Belarus. This could have a major effect especially for smaller companies who may not have the resources or expertise required to comply with new regulations imposed by authorities.
It remains uncertain how this proposal will be received by both industry stakeholders and ordinary citizens alike, but it does appear that there are serious efforts being made within Belarus to bring cryptocurrency usage under control for better consumer protection and prevention of criminal activity.