Belarus Targets Cryptocurrency: A Deep Dive into the Ban on P2P Transactions

Belarus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to amend laws to help end individual peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. On July 2nd, the Ministry advertised its directives for recent legislation that will forbid individuals from engaging in these crypto exchanges. It appears that as the rate of cybercrime in this region has increased, local law enforcement has managed to disrupt the functions of 27 individuals providing illegal crypto exchange services, with a corresponding sum earned from such activities totaling to 22 million Belarusian rubles or equal to approximately $8.7 million. These P2P crypto services have leveled the allegations of having fraudulent liquidators and sponsoring illicit channels for the transfer of money related to criminal ventures.

Not only is the Ministry aiming to outlaw such trading within its borders, they hope to require citizens to exchange their cryptocurrency through exclusively registered Hi-Tech Park (HTP) exchanges. Similar to exchanging foreign currencies, authoritative heads are laying out plans for the implementation of methods that would acquire transparency on these exchanges and diminish the rewards from fraudulent activities. Although met by some fear and trepidation in the crypto industry, as we know that such P2P as a concept is intrinsic to Bitcoin, the Ministry seemingly has the intention to provide ways to reassure control, permanence, and safety.

What seems to atttlradct its own criticism in Belarus is the fact that President Alexander Lukashenko approved a decree allowing the free trade and circulation of cryptocurrency despite this new announcement. Uncertainty looms as it creates doubt for projecting economic and legal outcomes with 21th century technologies. Even Bitcoin and blockchain advocate, the CEO of Jan3 (Samson Mow), recognizes the logistics of the ban in enforcement. Evidence shows evidence present, in China specifically, showing that bans have done little to stop crypto from reaching its users by way of P2P transactions.

Robert Wilson author
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