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Belarus General Prosecutor Warns About Cryptocurrency’s Use in Tax Evasion

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Belarus’ general prosecutor has raised concerns about the role cryptocurrency could be playing in tax evasion, local daily news outlet TUT.by reported on June 4.

Speaking as Belarus hosted the International Prosecutors Association’s regional conference, Aleksandr Konyuk said the time had come for all attendants’ authorities to study cryptocurrency use.

Belarus had become one of the first countries in the area to create formal legislation around bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, declaring them legal in 2017.

“The relevance of cybercrime is obvious,” he told the conference, which saw representation from Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Kazakhstan and Latvia. Konyuk continued:

“Multiple new understandings have emerged, and it is necessary to study the situation with bitcoin and cryptocurrency. These are things that are entering our lives. For example, cryptocurrency constitutes a serious risk for tax evasion.”

The concept that cryptocurrency plays a major role in cybercrime continues to emerge from various governments, while critics play down the idea that it is becoming perpetrators’ go-to financing method.

In line with the legal landscape, Belarus’ largest bank signalled in January that it was nonetheless interested in setting up a cryptocurrency exchange.

In neighboring Russia, meanwhile, with which Minsk has unique economic ties, authorities continue to waver over how to deal with cryptocurrency use.

Most recently, the country’s central bank said it was against legalizing bitcoin and altcoins for use as a payment instrument. Another lawmaker delivered a verdict similar to Konyuk’s in comments last month.

In contrast to Belarus, the country’s major state-owned Sberbank said it was halting its own crypto plans due to the Bank of Russia’s negative stance.

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