Belarus Clamps Down on P2P Crypto Transactions: Report

• Belarus government has proposed a ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions on crypto assets such as Bitcoin in a bid to address the rising rate of cybercrime.
• The authorities cited the rampant use of P2P crypto services by fraudsters to cash out, convert stolen gains, and transfer money within criminal networks as the decision for their move.
• The Ministry also plans to impose a limit on crypto exchanges to registered platforms only.

Belarus Clamps Down On Crypto Transactions

The Republic of Belarus is taking steps to clamp down on illicit peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions in order to address the rising rate of cybercrime in the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued an official statement detailing its plans and its effect on exchange users. Under this new legislation, all crypto transactions must be done through exchanges for transparency and control purposes.

Crackdown On Fraudsters

Local prosecutors have already cracked down on 27 citizens involved in illegal crypto exchange services, with $8.7 million in illicit gains confiscated from them. This action was taken due to widespread use of P2P crypto services by fraudsters for cashing out, converting stolen gains, and transferring money within criminal networks.

Limit To Registered Platforms

The MFA also plans to impose a limit on crypto exchanges so that they can be carried out only through registered platforms for better transparency and control over financial transactions.

Drastic Shift From Existing Policies

This move marks a drastic shift from existing policies which had been mostly defined as being crypto-friendly; last year President Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 8 which legalized cryptocurrency activities like mining, trading, and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Skepticism Toward Ability To Enforce Ban
Despite the ban being imposed by the authorities, many cryptocurrency users remain skeptical about Belarus’ ability to enforce it effectively given that cryptocurrencies are decentralized by nature and do not fall under any jurisdiction or authority’s control entirely