Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree affirming the country’s formal support of free circulation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
Lukashenko’s press office announced Monday that the president has signed a decree named “On the register of virtual wallet addresses and the circulation of cryptocurrency.”
The document provides a legal basis for Belarus Hi-Tech Park to establish and manage a register of crypto wallet addresses used in illegal activities. The decree document specifically details the process and standards for seizing cryptocurrency from criminals by the government.
The decree intends to protect crypto investors from potential losses and to “prevent unintentional involvement in activities prohibited by law.”
The announcement points out that Belarus has taken a friendly stance on cryptocurrencies:
“Belarus is consistently developing the legal field for regulating activities related to digital assets, and, unlike many other states, allows free circulation of digital currencies.”
According to the document, Belarus’ Council of Ministers is required to adopt appropriate measures to enforce the decree in three months following its publication.
Lukashenko’s latest move in the Belarusian crypto regulation ecosystem reaffirms the country’s commitment to supporting cryptocurrency development, including crypto mining and trading. In September 2021, Lukashenko called on the government to mine crypto using spare power infrastructure. Previously, Belarus’ largest financial institution, Belarusbank, reportedly launched a crypto exchange service.
As previously reported, Lukashenko won presidential election against opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in August 2020, but some officials both inside and outside of Belarus were condemning the election results as falsified. Lukashenko has been showing support for crypto long before the formal re-election, legalizing cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings back in 2017.
While Belarus has apparently been moving toward cryptocurrency adoption, some of its key economic and political partners were falling behind on crypto regulation.
Russia, which adopted its “On Digital Financial Assets” law in January 2021, maintains regulatory uncertainty as its various financial regulators continue to disagree on how to regulate crypto in the country. Despite the Russian government formally approving the concept of crypto regulation last week, the Bank of Russia continues to oppose crypto adoption.
According to local reports, the Russian central bank once again prepared an initiative to ban crypto circulation in Russia on Tuesday.