Belarus to Ban P2P Crypto Transactions

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry formulates legal changes banning peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transactions.

Recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Belarus issued an official announcement detailing the goals and implications of the new legislation regarding persons engaged in cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry revealed that local authorities have successfully intercepted almost 30 cases of suspected fraudulent activities related to illegal cryptocurrency exchange services since the beginning of the year.

The collective illegal income from these suspected fraudulent activities intercepted in Belarusian rubles amounted to almost 22 million rubles, or approximately $8.7 million.

High crypto crime rate linked to P2P transactions?

The ministry said peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency services are highly sought after by fraudsters due to their “usefulness for cashing in 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 emphasizes the role of P2P services in allegedly enabling illegal activities and strengthens the case for implementing regulatory measures to combat these fraudulent practices.

The proposed ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce marks a notable shift in Belarus’ approach to cryptocurrencies. In 2022, President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree approving the unrestricted circulation of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in the country.

This change in position indicates a reassessment of the regulatory framework surrounding digital assets in Belarus and highlights the evolution of the government’s perspective on the subject.

The regulator mentioned:

The MFA is working on legislative innovations that prohibit peer-to-peer crypto exchange transactions. For greater transparency and control, citizens will only be allowed to conduct such financial transactions through HTP exchanges.

Individuals should trade cryptocurrencies exclusively through registered exchanges affiliated with Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP).

In addition, the authority intends to introduce a similar procedure to the exchange of foreign currencies. This procedure aims to create an environment where it becomes impossible to withdraw money acquired through illegal activities.

The ministry said that under the proposed terms it would become financially unviable for IT fraudsters to operate in Belarus.

Concerns about the successful implementation of the P2P ban

Although the government is taking steps to ban peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce, skeptics raise doubts about its effectiveness. Previous bans on P2P channels for crypto exchanges in countries like China have not entirely succeeded in eliminating this trade.

Many digital asset enthusiasts question the feasibility of enforcing such a ban, arguing that P2P trading is deeply rooted in the fundamentals 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 commercial activities within the ecosystem.

P2P exchange is indeed an integral part of the original concept of Bitcoin, as described by anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto in the cryptocurrency white paper.

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