• Belarus has announced plans to ban peer-to-peer crypto transactions in an effort to combat cybercrime.
• The Ministry of Internal Affairs claims that scammers have been cashing out and converting stolen funds into cryptocurrencies.
• New legislation is being proposed which would require citizens to use regulated crypto exchanges.
Belarus Moves to Ban Peer-to-Peer Crypto Transactions
Belarus has announced plans to ban peer-to-peer crypto transactions in an effort to combat cybercrime. According to a statement from the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, cybercrime is rampant in the country, with scammers cashing out and converting stolen funds into cryptocurrencies.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has reported that its cybercrime unit has cracked down on 27 citizens providing “illegal crypto exchange services” since the beginning of the year, noting that their total income from these illegal activities was around 22 million Rubles ($8.7 million).
New Legislation Proposed
To prevent such activities from proliferating, the ministry is working on introducing new legislation that would require citizens to use regulated crypto exchanges rather than engage in peer-to-peer transactions. This move is expected to make it difficult for criminals to launder their funds as well as provide investor protections for those using cryptocurrency services.
Fears of Money Laundering
The news follows similar moves by other countries such as South Korea which recently passed new crypto legislation focusing on investor protections and Singapore which recently tightened its anti money laundering regulations for digital asset service providers (VASPs).
Overall, this move towards banning peer-to-peer crypto transactions highlights growing concerns about money laundering and other forms of financial crime involving cryptocurrencies. It remains unclear when this legislation will take effect but it could become a reality sooner than expected if approved by Belarusian lawmakers.