Belarusian Authorities Plan To Introduce Stricter Legislative Regulations To Track & Seize Illicit Cryptocurrency Holdings

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Belarus has been one of the most progressive countries in Eastern Europe in terms of blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation. In fact, the country has been developing its blockchain industry at an exponential rate, establishing itself as a regional hub of blockchain innovation.

Cryptocurrency exchange platforms, trading platforms, and other services have become a preferred channel for criminals to launder illicit profits from crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other criminal activities. Therefore, the Financial Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Finance of Belarus has initiated a project to track and seize illicit cryptocurrency holdings.

According to a recently signed presidential decree, the Belarusian government has introduced a procedure that allows it to seize digital currency assets. In Minsk, law enforcement authorities now have the authority to seize crypto assets linked to illegal activities.

Justice Ministry Regulates Confiscation of Digital Coins in Belarus

A legal procedure for seizing cryptocurrency funds as part of enforcement proceedings has been established by the Ministry of Justice of Belarus, the crypto news outlet Forklog reported, quoting an announcement from the department.

President Alexander Lukashenko issued a decree pertaining to the crypto space in his country. Earlier this year, Belarus’ president signed a decree ordering the creation of a special registry for crypto wallet addresses used for illicit purposes.

Justice ministry officials explained that seized or forfeited crypto funds would be accounted for by the agencies conducting the criminal process. Its document dated April 14 also regulates the appraisal of digital assets as part of the confiscation of debtors’ property.After three months, the Minsk government will have to implement Lukashenko’s latest crypto-related order.

In late 2017, Belarus legalized various crypto activities through another presidential decree that went into effect in May of the following year. Within efforts to grow the country’s digital economy, it introduced tax breaks and other incentives for crypto businesses operating from the Hi-Tech Park (HTP) in Minsk.

Former Soviet republics, which are close allies of Russia, do not allow the use of cryptocurrencies in payments. According to the Crypto Adoption Index produced by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, Belarus is the third-best country in the region in terms of crypto adoption. This is mostly due to a strong peer-to-peer ecosystem.  Lukashenka hinted at tighter crypto regulations in March last year, mentioning China’s policies.

However, HTP officials later clarified that Belarusian authorities had no plans to adopt more restrictive rules for the industry. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance introduced amendments in February that will allow investment funds to acquire digital assets.  

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