Belarus, which has been known for its crypto-friendly stance, is now planning to implement a partial ban on cryptocurrency transactions. The government of Belarus is proposing a ban on peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, including Bitcoin, to combat the increasing cybercrime rate in the country.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has stated that criminals are utilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto services to convert illicit funds. They have arrested 27 individuals involved in illegal cryptocurrency exchanges, resulting in nearly $8.7 million in illegal earnings.
The ministry aims to introduce legislation that will prohibit cryptocurrency transactions between individuals, restricting them to registered exchanges only. This move intends to prevent the withdrawal of funds acquired through criminal means.
Previously, Belarus legalized digital asset transactions in 2017 and was recognized as one of the top crypto tax-friendly countries. The country even established its cryptocurrency exchange in collaboration with Belarus Bank, enabling the purchase of Bitcoin using Visa payment cards. However, this proposed ban signifies a shift in the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies.
In recent news, Chinese authorities have issued warnings about guidelines for cryptocurrencies, particularly targeting those facilitating crypto transactions on behalf of others. The country previously cracked down on crypto exchanges in 2017 and banned crypto-related transactions and mining in 2021.
However, despite these measures, Chinese traders continue to be active in the crypto market, with over-the-counter trades involving USDT and Bitcoin being popular. The Ministry of Public Security has warned that participating in such schemes could lead to criminal charges, including assisting IT network fraud.
On the other hand, Hong Kong, despite being more crypto-friendly, has also experienced an increase in cryptocurrency-related crimes. In a recent report by local Hong Kong media, the Hong Kong police launched a Web3 platform called “CyberDefender Metaverse” and discussed the dangers of crimes like fraud, hacking, theft, and sexual offenses in the metaverse during their first event. They highlighted the significant loss of $1.7 billion from 2,336 virtual asset-related crimes in Hong Kong last year.