In a statement Sunday, the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said that fraudsters were using P2P crypto services to cash out dirty funds.
The statement added that the body was working on legislation to prohibit transactions for the “exchange of cryptocurrency between individuals.”
“Since the beginning of the year, employees of the cybercrime counteraction units have stopped the activities of 27 citizens who provide illegal cryptocurrency exchange services,” the statement read. “Their total illegal income amounted to almost 22 million rubles ($8.7 million).”
It went on to say that the ministry would work to restrict crypto P2P services so that only crypto transactions via registered exchanges would be allowed, making it “impossible to withdraw money obtained by criminal means.”
A P2P—peer-to-peer—service means that the two parties interact directly with each other without the need for third-party involvement.
Belarus has typically been crypto-friendly. The country legalized digital asset transactions in 2017 and blockchain data firm Glassnode named it one of the top 10 crypto tax-friendly countries earlier this year.
A new law provided a tax exemption for individuals and businesses conducting crypto transactions. The idea was to boost the development of a digital economy and help the tech industry. The law is due be reviewed this year.
Back in 2020, state-owned Belarusbank launched a cryptocurrency exchange, allowing Belarusians and Russians to buy Bitcoin with a Visa payment card.
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