Recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Belarus issued an official announcement detailing the objectives and implications of the new legislation concerning individuals engaged in cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed that local authorities have successfully intercepted nearly 30 instances of alleged fraudulent activities related to illegal cryptocurrency exchange services since the beginning of the year.
The collective illegal revenues from these alleged intercepted fraudulent activities in Belarusian rubles amounted to nearly 22 million rubles, equivalent to approximately $8.7 million.
High crypto Crime Rate Linked To P2P Transactions?
The ministry stated that peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency services are highly sought after by fraudsters due to their “utility in cashing out and converting stolen funds.” The government official claims that these services facilitate money transfers to organizers or participants involved in criminal schemes.
By emphasizing this point, the ministry highlights the role of P2P services in allegedly enabling illegal activities and strengthens the case for implementing regulatory measures to combat such fraudulent practices.
The proposed ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) trading marks a notable change in Belarus’s approach to cryptocurrencies. In 2022, President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree endorsing the unrestricted circulation of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, within the country.
This shift in stance indicates a re-evaluation of the regulatory framework surrounding digital assets in Belarus and highlights the government’s evolving perspective on the subject.
The regulator mentioned:
The MFA is working on legislative innovations that prohibit crypto exchange transactions between individuals. For transparency and control, citizens will be allowed to conduct such financial transactions only through the HTP exchanges.
Individuals must exchange cryptocurrencies exclusively through registered exchanges affiliated with Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP).
Additionally, the authority intends to introduce a procedure similar to exchanging foreign currencies. This procedure aims to create an environment where it becomes impossible to withdraw money acquired through illegal activities.
The ministry expressed that, under the proposed conditions, it would become financially unviable for information technology fraudsters to operate within Belarus.
Concerns Over Successful Implementation Of P2P Ban
Although the government is taking measures to ban peer-to-peer (P2P) trading, skeptics raise doubts about its effectiveness. Previous bans on P2P channels for crypto exchanges in countries like China have not been entirely successful in eliminating such trading.
Many digital asset enthusiasts question the feasibility of enforcing such a ban, arguing that P2P trading is deeply rooted in the fundamental principles of digital assets like Bitcoin, allowing citizens to transact freely without government intervention.
This skepticism reflects concerns about the practicality and potential limitations of restricting P2P trading activities within the ecosystem.
P2P exchange is indeed an integral part of the original concept of Bitcoin, as described by the anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto in the cryptocurrency’s Whitepaper.
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