Belarus has kept a liberal approach in terms of crypto regulations, and is continuing efforts to make the investment sector safer for its citizens. In a recent order, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has instructed the creation of a register to maintain crypto wallet records. The Belarus High-Tech Park (HTP), that oversees the crypto sector in the nation, will be working on this fresh direction from President Lukashenko. The development comes at a time when Belarus' neighbours, Russia and Ukraine, are caught in the midst of a geo-political crisis.
Protecting crypto investors from loss of property and curbing the misuse of cryptocurrencies for unlawful activities are two main reasons why Belarus will now have a crypto wallet registry protocol.
The aim of this registry is to maintain tracks of those crypto wallets, which could potentially be engaging in illicit activities. Law enforcement agencies will be able to get suspicious crypto wallets added to this register and even confiscate holdings with the help of related crypto exchanges, Bitcoin World explained in a report.
Lukashenko signed Decree number 48 on February 14 “on the Register of Addresses (Identifiers) of Virtual Wallets and Peculiarities of Cryptocurrency Turnover".
“The document provides for the formation by the High-Tech Park of a register of addresses of virtual wallets used in illegal activities, and the establishment of the procedure for its functioning,” the official release announcing the development said.
The government of Belarus will execute the presidential orders in the next three months, the Bitcoin World report added.
Between 2017-2018, Belarus legalised crypto activities gradually. While paying in cryptocurrencies is still not allowed in Belarus, holding and trading in these digital assets is permitted. In addition, crypto firms are also given tax discounts among other benefits.
In the country with a population of nearly 10 million, research firm Triple-A estimates that over 350,000 people or 3.73 percent of Belarus' total population owned cryptocurrency in 2021.
In September last year, Lukashenko asked nationals to quit swarming abroad for work and rather mine crypto from Belarus itself.
“Build something based on electricity. After all, start mining cryptocurrencies or whatever it's called. There is enough electricity in the country,” the 67-year old had reportedly said at the time.