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How much the attention of Russian banks to operations with cryptocurrencies has grown and how the regulation of digital assets in the country actually works
Recently it became known that the Bank of Russia plans to strengthen control over money transfers between individuals to combat illegal online casinos, bookmakers and crypto exchanges.
Later, the Central Bank explained that they were not going to introduce “total control” over payments of individuals. The regulator pointed out that information that identifies individuals will not be requested from banks – it is only about “impersonal registers of those transfers of individuals that meet certain criteria.”
In September of this year, the Central Bank has already recommended that banks identify cards and electronic wallets that are used to accept payments to illegal online casinos, pyramid organizers, forex dealers, and cryptocurrency exchangers, and block them. Representatives of cryptocurrency trading platforms interviewed by RBC-Crypto explained how often banks block payments from Russians and how the situation has changed over the past six months.
“An increase in the number of locks is not excluded”
Nikita Zuborev, Senior Analyst, Bestchange.ru Exchanger Aggregator
Neither in recent months, nor even over the year, there have been no significant changes in the structure of user requests to support or in the reviews left to exchange offices. There are definitely no more messages about blocking cards or freezing bank transfers.
In the future, judging by the mood of the legislators and the rhetoric of the government, we do not exclude an increase in such blockages, but today there are no signals of toughening of the security policy from the top banks of the Russian Federation.
Of course, blockages do occur, but these are very rare special cases that have always happened, and they are not directly related to recent initiatives, this is a fairly common practice for large and frequent transfers. Recently, only professional market players – active p2p-clients and exchange offices – have been blocked more often recently, but again only because of the increased degree of risk due to the very high activity on their accounts.
Empirically, the atmosphere became a little worse in the QIWI ecosystem – according to reports in the community, wallets in the payment system began to be blocked a little more often than usual, but also mainly due to high activity or connections with “dirty” sources.
As for cryptocurrency transfers, there is a certain trend towards more frequent freezing of suspicious transactions before additional verification passes. Anti-money laundering (AML) policy has been tightened in many services, but this is a global trend. Major cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as most custodian wallets, are trying in every possible way to whitewash their business and introduce mandatory checks on the connection of transactions with potentially illegal activities.
As a rule, exchange offices are counterparties of such international services and are actually forced to support this trend in terms of checks, many of them are only intermediaries in the transaction chain and transfer tokens to them for storage. For this reason, exchange offices also conduct AML checks on each incoming transfer and may request additional data if they identify a high level of risk in order to secure their business in the event of a request from the exchange or law enforcement agencies.
In the new market conditions, we advise you to check the risk level in advance through one of the many AML online services. And in cases of using custody services (exchanges, wallets, marketplaces), in which it is impossible to know the wallet address for withdrawal in advance, we recommend not to save on one additional transaction and withdraw funds first to your personal non-custodial wallet, and then, after checking the risks, transfer from it to an exchange office or to the deposit address of a crypto exchange.
“Investors should not have problems”
Mikhail Karkhalev, financial analyst at Currency.com cryptoexchange
The process of buying cryptocurrencies, replenishing the balance on exchanges or other operations has not changed in any way. From time to time it happens that the bank does not miss the transaction, after which a call comes from the monitoring service to clarify that the operation is not performed by a fraudster. After confirming that it is you making the transfer, the blocking is removed from the transaction and the balance is replenished. There were no other and strict restrictions, as well as blocking of investors’ accounts.
In the context of potential new bills, no difficulties have been observed so far, perhaps they will appear later, but most likely they will only affect the work of illegal exchangers, p2p exchanges or other sites. It is unlikely that the work will affect regulated and legally clean platforms. Investments in cryptocurrencies are unlikely to be banned, respectively, if investments are made in a “white” way, investors should not have problems.
“Blocks affected those who exchange small amounts”
Director of the Alfacash cryptocurrency exchange service Nikita Soshnikov
It is incorrect to say that there were no problems with transactions related to crypto exchange before, but now they suddenly appeared. In my memory, account blockages have occurred before, but they more often concern those accounts on which dozens of crypto-exchange operations were carried out. That is, where the bank has reasonable questions about the economic meaning of operations and suspicions that an individual’s account is used for some kind of entrepreneurial activity.
Now such blocking began to concern not only those accounts on which a large volume of transactions is carried out, but also their counterparties, that is, the buyers or sellers of the cryptocurrency themselves, even if the transactions are one-time. In general, this practice on the part of banks is more likely to concern those who exchange small amounts.
Large crypto investors, both earlier and now, use more reliable schemes either with an agreement for the purchase of some property and a bank transfer (here the bank has nothing to complain about, since there is a seller, a buyer, an agreement, and what exactly is the subject of the transaction is not disclosed), or with the help of crypto exchangers in the same Moscow City.
“The policy of the Central Bank is not news”
Development Director of the EXMO crypto exchange Maria Stankevich
The tightening of the Central Bank’s policy in relation to cryptocurrencies can hardly be called news, because their position was known from the very beginning: “to prohibit cryptocurrencies and everything connected with them, since this undermines confidence and acts as a competitor to the national currency.”
Nothing much has changed for Russian users in recent months. I note that Russia today is already in a rather weak position compared to Europe: today the only method of depositing fiat on the exchange is a card deposit, which is often limited not only by the amount of the payment, but also by freezing for 24-48 hours to prevent fraud (this is a requirement of banks and payment systems). While in Europe we see regular deposits from a bank account (SEPA / SWIFT) for 500 thousand euros and more. Nevertheless, for example, in England, users also face blocking of accounts after withdrawing large amounts to a bank account (after exchanging on an exchange).
As for the blocking of users’ bank accounts, it is difficult to say here, since we still represent the other side of the barricades, but I note that the average number of card verifications has not changed.
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