• Belarus seeks to ban peer-to-peer crypto transactions in a bid to combat cybercrime and money laundering.
• The move comes as the country’s cybercrime unit has reportedly cracked down on 27 citizens providing illegal crypto exchange services since the start of 2021.
• New legislation would require citizens to use regulated crypto exchanges.
Belarus Seeks to Ban Peer-to-Peer Crypto Transactions
Belarus is looking to ban peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions, according to a July 2 statement from its Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). The move is part of an effort by the country’s government to combat cybercrimes and money laundering.
Crackdown on Illegal Crypto Exchange Services
The MVD said its cybercrime unit has cracked down on 27 citizens providing “illegal crypto exchange services” since the beginning of this year, with their total income from these activities amounting to around 22 million Rubles ($8.7 million).
Legislation Requiring Citizens to Use Regulated Exchanges
To prevent further proliferation of these activities, the ministry is seeking new legislation that would require citizens to use regulated crypto exchanges instead of conducting peer-to-peer transactions. This would help make it more difficult for criminals to launder their funds, according to the MVD statement.
International Regulations Focusing on Investor Protections
The proposed ban in Belarus follows other international regulations focused on investor protections and market stability, such as those recently passed in South Korea and Singapore. These regulations make it mandatory for investors in digital assets such as cryptocurrencies or tokens issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs) to adhere strict KYC/AML requirements when trading or holding digital assets in custody wallets or exchanges.
It remains unclear when Belarus will introduce its proposed legislation banning peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions, but if approved, it could have significant implications for investors using unregulated platforms for trading digital assets in the country.