President Lukashenko Signs Decree to Create Crypto Wallet Register in Belarus – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a new law that expands the country’s legal framework for cryptocurrencies.
As a result of the action, the Belarus High-Tech Park (HTP), which oversees the country’s crypto space, will be authorized to create a register for crypto wallet addresses that are or may be used for criminal reasons.
In a release, the president’s press service stated that the purpose is to “protect participants in the digital asset market from loss of property and prevent unintentional involvement in actions prohibited by law.” Decree No. 48, dated February 14, 2022, “On the register of addresses (identifiers) of virtual wallets and features of cryptocurrency circulation.”
The Lukashenko government also emphasized:
Belarus is progressively putting in place legislation to regulate digital asset activities, and unlike most other countries, it allows for unlimited digital currency circulation.
Belarusian officials feel that this will necessitate “continuous monitoring of the situation” and, where needed, “supplementing and clarifying regulatory rules.” This includes efforts to prohibit the financing of illicit operations, which was the fundamental rationale for the approval of the most recent crypto decree.
Wallet addresses will be added to the registry if law enforcement agencies acquire information indicating that they are being used for illegal operations or transactions related to extremism and terrorism. The regulation also creates tools for authorities to seize bitcoin assets with the help of companies that run cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto platforms.
The Minsk government will have three months to take the necessary steps to implement Lukashenko’s directive before it takes effect. Another presidential decree signed in 2017 legalized crypto activity in Belarus. It went into effect in May of the following year, and it gave crypto businesses tax breaks and other benefits.
The Belarusian president intimated in March that the industry’s laws would be tightened, citing China as an example, but HTP officials later stated that the authorities do not intend to implement stricter regulations. According to reports earlier this month, Belarus is considering allowing investment funds to buy digital assets.
Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies cannot be used to make payments in Belarus, the country ranks third in Eastern Europe in terms of crypto adoption, according to Chainalysis’ Crypto Adoption Index, thanks to significant peer-to-peer activity. The region’s top two countries are Ukraine and Russia, both former Soviet republics.