In an effort to mitigate escalating rates of cybercrime, the Belarusian government has suggested prohibiting peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions involving Bitcoin and other digital assets. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Belarus outlined the objectives of this new legislation and the resulting impact on users of Bitcoin and crypto exchanges.

To ensure transparency and control, Bitcoin and crypto transactions will be restricted to exchanges.

On July 2nd, the MFA released an official statement reporting that local law enforcement had already apprehended 27 individuals involved in unauthorized Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange services, accounting for $8.7 million in illegal profits. 

The government cited the prevalent use of P2P Bitcoin and crypto services by criminals to liquidate, convert stolen assets, and circulate funds within unlawful networks as the rationale behind their action. 

The statement reads, "The Ministry of Internal Affairs is working on legislative innovations that prohibit transactions for the exchange of cryptocurrency between individuals. For transparency and control, citizens will be allowed to carry out such financial transactions only through the HTP exchanges."

The ministry is also considering imposing restrictions on Bitcoin and crypto exchanges, limiting operations to only registered platforms.

This recent proposal represents a significant departure from Belarus' prevailing Bitcoin and crypto policies, which have been largely friendly. 

In the previous year, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko endorsed a decree aimed at establishing a registry for Bitcoin and crypto wallets to counteract illegal activities. Just recently, the Belarusian government decided to extend tax breaks for businesses until January 2025.

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