Ukrainian Financial Supervisory Board Blocks Russian Crypto Exchanges

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Ukrainian Financial Supervisory Board Blocks Russian Crypto Exchanges. The financial supervisory board of Ukraine has restricted access to a number of online crypto exchanges operating outside of Russia. Some crypto trading platforms work with sanctioned Russian banks.

This was announced by the regulatory body in a report. Launch Bitcoin, Sunday (22/1/2023), the State Financial Monitoring Service (SFMS), a Ukrainian financial intelligence unit, has issued a special report on the results of its operations in 2022.

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In addition to peacetime activities such as fighting money laundering, the agency has revealed it has contributed to the country’s defense as part of the ongoing conflict with Russia.

In documents published this week, the watchdog announced its employees had joined colleagues from the Ministry of Digital Transformation and leading Ukrainian crypto experts. Together, they were able to identify Russian crypto exchanges associated with sanctioned Russian financial institutions, including Russia’s largest bank, Sber.

The Ukrainian financial regulator did not specify the exact number of these platforms or domain names but emphasized that the aim is to completely block them.

In addition, in collaboration with crypto service providers in Ukraine and abroad, SFMS introduced a mechanism to block Russian Federation crypto wallets. It’s unclear whether that means Russian wallets in general or those associated with the government in Moscow.

The state service reminded last year of turning to Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, suggesting measures to curb the Russian Federation’s aggression on the virtual asset market and prevent peer-to-peer transactions for users of various Russian banks and payment systems.

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“Other practical measures regarding the blocking of Russian crypto assets and the operations of Russian residents have been implemented,” the agency added without elaborating. It has been cooperating with the financial authorities of nearly 140 countries on this matter while cutting ties with regulators in Russia and Belarus.

SFMS also noted that they are involved in cooperation between Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, countries with a growing crypto market and mining sector focused on reducing money laundering through digital assets. This project was realized with assistance from the United Nations and the OSCE.

The report coincides with a statement by Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, who promised the country would become the best crypto jurisdiction in the world after finalizing its regulatory framework for the industry.

In recent years, Ukraine has established itself as a leader in crypto adoption in Eastern Europe and has been accepting crypto donations since the start of the Russian invasion.

Its parliament passed the “Virtual Assets” law last February and have prepared their respective amendments to the tax code.

Previously, the retail chain of Pharmacies in Ukraine, ANC had accepted crypto payments to purchase various products such as medicines and other goods.

This new payment option has been accessible since Tuesday (3/1/2023), the company claims to have become the first pharmacy network in Europe to offer crypto payments.

“Starting January 3, you can enjoy instant payments when buying pharmaceutical products. It will be possible to pay for orders with cryptocurrency in Anc,” the company announced, quoted from Bitcoin, Friday (6/1/2023).

Transactions with crypto will be processed through Binance Pay, a payment system developed by the world’s largest digital asset exchange based on trading volume.

It enables users and businesses around the world to spend, send and receive more than 70 digital currencies such as bitcoin.

To take advantage of this service, customers must download and install the Binance app, go to the ANC website, place an order and pay bills using Binance Pay. Then they can receive the product or pick it up at one of the network stores.

Ukrainian Financial Supervisory Board Blocks Russian Crypto Exchanges. ANC operates a chain of pharmacies under its brand name and brings together several other Ukrainian chains such as Blagodiya and Kopiyka. ANC has stores in more than 130 cities in Ukraine with more than 7 million customers annually.

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In recent years, Ukraine has established itself as a regional leader in crypto adoption.

Since Russia launched its invasion in late February, the country’s government and volunteer organizations have relied on cryptocurrency donations to fund defense and humanitarian initiatives, which are also supported by industry.

Previously, the conflict that started with Russia’s attack on Ukraine has increased crypto-related activity in both countries, according to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

Currency inflation and sanctions pressure led to several spikes in transaction volume this year, while Eastern Europe as a whole maintained its role in the global crypto ecosystem.

According to the Cryptocurrency Geography 2022 report, after the invasion began in late February, transfers of Russian and Ukrainian cryptocurrencies have seen an increase. In the following weeks and months.

However Russian transactions faltered within a relatively narrow range, possibly affected by service restrictions, while Ukrainian transactions continued to increase until June 2022.

In March, right after the war started, trading volume in Ukrainian hryvnias jumped 121 percent to USD 307 million, or around IDR 4.7 trillion, while trading volume in Russian rubles rose 35 percent to USD 805 million.

“Afterwards, we saw volume fall for both countries, ebbing and flowing through August, but never hitting the March highs,” wrote Chainalysis quoted from, Wednesday (19/10/2022).

Eastern Europe Maintains 10 Percent Share of Global Crypto Transactions

Overall, Eastern Europe is the fifth largest cryptocurrency market with a value of USD 630.9 billion received on-chain between July 2021 to June 2022, accounting for a little over 10 percent of global transaction activity during that period.

“The region’s comparative role in the larger worldwide crypto ecosystem has remained surprisingly consistent over the past few years while other regions have seen more volatility,” explained Chainalysis.

Nonetheless, risky and illicit activity still stands out when looking at Eastern European on-chain activity. High-risk exchanges that have no or low KYC requirements account for 6.1 percent of transaction activity in the region.

Previously, Ukraine’s law enforcement and counter-intelligence agencies had managed to seize funds in cryptocurrency wallets that were used to finance Russia’s military campaign in the country.

Reporting from, Monday (29/8/2022), officials in Kyiv claim the money collected through the crypto wallet has been spent on military equipment for pro-Russian separatist forces in the east.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has for the first time implemented a mechanism to curb fundraising via cryptocurrency for troops fighting on Russia’s side in the country’s ongoing hostilities.

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The conflict escalated into full-scale war when Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border in late February in what Moscow called a “special military operation” in support of the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

In a press release on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 local time, the SBU announced that crypto wallets operated by citizens of the Russian Federation and used to sponsor Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine have been blocked.

The man, presenting himself as a volunteer, has been raising money for the needs of the Russian troops since the very beginning of the invasion.

The wallet had accumulated 800,000 hryvnia ($22,000) worth of digital coins at the time of the blockage. The SBU added the funds had been seized and experts were now working to trace related transactions.

The agency did not specify how to seize the wallet but revealed the seizure was assisted by a foreign crypto company.

Ukrainian Financial Supervisory Board Blocks Russian Crypto Exchanges. Ukrainian investigators have been able to determine the wallet owner devoted the majority of donated crypto to the purchase of military equipment for separatist fighters from Luhansk and the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk.

Representatives of the National Police of Ukraine and the General Prosecutor’s Office also took part in the operation.

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