• A Belarusian citizen was fined 2,700,000 Belarusian rubles (approximately $1 million) for illegally trading cryptocurrencies online.
• The fine was imposed by the Economic Court of Minsk after the man was found to have used the Telegram messenger to set up his own online cryptocurrency exchange.
• The Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus rejected the man’s appeal against the fine, which was deemed fair given that he was making 5,400,000 rubles as income from his illegal activities.
A Belarusian citizen has been ordered to pay a hefty fine of 2,700,000 Belarusian rubles (approximately $1 million) for engaging in illegal cryptocurrency trading activities. The man, identified only by the initial ‘A’, was found to have used the Telegram messenger to set up his own online cryptocurrency exchange in January 2021. The exchange facilitated the trading of digital assets outside the law, with the man earning 5,400,000 rubles in income from his illegal activities.
Law enforcement authorities in Belarus, where certain cryptocurrency activities are legal, were able to trace the man’s transactions and present the gathered evidence to the judiciary. As a result, the Economic Court of Minsk imposed the fine, deeming it fair as the man could have been ordered to part with the full amount of his income. The man appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, but the court rejected his appeal, upholding the original ruling.
Belarus legalized certain crypto-related activities such as mining and trading with a decree signed by President Alexander Lukashenko in 2018. However, the government has been cracking down on those who engage in illegal crypto activities, as evidenced by this case. Those who wish to partake in such activities are required to register under the special legal and tax regime of the Belarus Hi-Tech Park in order to stay within the law.
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