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President Lukashenko Signs Decree to Create Crypto Wallet Register in Belarus

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, has signed a new decree to expand his country’s regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies. This will enable the Belarus High-Tech Park ( TTP), the body that oversees the country’s crypto space to create a registry for addresses of crypto wallets that can be used for illegal purposes.

In an announcement , the president’s press office stated that the goal of the legislation is to “protect participants in digital asset markets from loss of property” and “prevent unintentional participation in activities prohibited under law,” . Decree No.48, “On the register (identifiers of virtual wallets) and features of the cryptocurrency circulation”, is dated February 14, 2022. Lukashenko’s administration also stressed:

Belarus continues to develop the legal framework for digital asset regulation. It allows digital currency free circulation, which is a rare feature among other countries.

Officials in Belarus believe that this requires constant monitoring and, when necessary, clarification and supplementation of regulatory norms. This includes measures to stop the financing of prohibited activities, which was the primary reason for the adoption the most recent crypto decree.

If law enforcement agencies receive information that the wallet addresses are being used to conduct illegal operations or to facilitate transactions related to extremism or terrorism, they will add them to the register. Authorities can also use the assistance of other cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges to seize crypto assets.

Minsk’s government will have three months to comply with Lukashenko’s order, which will then be in force. A 2017 presidential decree legalized crypto activity in Belarus. It was implemented in May 2017 and provided tax breaks and incentives to crypto-businesses.

The Belarusian head-of-state hinted last March at tightening industry rules, citing China as an example. However, HTP officials later stated that authorities don’t intend to adopt any stricter regulations. This month, it was reported that Belarus plans to permit investment funds the acquisition of digital assets.

According to Chainalysis’ Crypto Adoption Index, which tracks blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis’s crypto adoption index, cryptocurrencies can not be used in Belarus for payment purposes. However, Belarus is third in Eastern Europe for crypto adoption. This is largely due to strong peer to peer activity. The region’s top two spots are held by Russia and Ukraine, both former Soviet republics.