The main cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Ukraine have temporarily suspended operations with hryvnia bank cards. The move stems from restrictions imposed by the country’s central bank, Binance and Kuna, reported in crypto media comments.
Ukrainians cannot trade crypto assets using national currency cards
The world’s largest crypto exchange Binance and leading Ukrainian exchange Kuna announced a temporary suspension of bank card operations in Ukrainian hryvnia. Both trading platforms have confirmed the issues with such transactions.
The limited processing of national currency deposits and withdrawals is a result of restrictions imposed by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Binance representatives told crypto news hub Forklog. The exchange has advised traders to use its peer-to-peer marketplace.
“Currently, fiat channels, namely deposits and withdrawals via bank card and other payment services, are temporarily suspended between cryptocurrency exchanges throughout Ukraine,” the trading platform stated in a Telegram post on Thursday, as cited by Bits.media.
“About the wristband card and exchange entry/exit. Yes, it doesn’t work… In short, we are looking for ways out of the situation, under the threat of stopping the entire Ukrainian crypto/UAH card market,” Kuna founder Michael Chobanyan said on his Telegram channel.
On Friday, Chobanyan suggested that difficulties with cashless hryvnia transactions were potentially linked to efforts by Ukrainian authorities against money laundering and tax evasion through online gambling sites.
He was referring to a recent statement by a Ukrainian lawmaker who claimed that this kind of turnover amounts to 54 billion hryvnias (almost $1.5 billion) a year. Deputy Oleksii Zhmerenetsky later confirmed that he saw a connection between the two.
Hryvnia restrictions on exchanges are likely to affect crypto donations to war-torn Ukraine
Problems with hryvnia deposits and withdrawals on crypto exchanges began in September last year, and since the end of December, the restrictions introduced by the central bank have become more stringent, Chobanyan explained. He added:
The NBU banned P2P and A2C transactions for financial companies, and since all crypto exchanges work through them, as a result, everything is lost for them.
Chobanyan believes the restrictions are damaging the reputation of Ukraine, a leader in crypto adoption in the region and beyond. He believes that the situation will also affect the activities of small and medium-sized companies, as well as donations in cryptocurrency.
Recent reports from blockchain intelligence firms Elliptic and Chainalysis revealed that since the start of the Russian invasion in late February 2022, Ukraine has raised over $212 million in crypto for defense and humanitarian efforts, $70 million of which came from donations from government addresses.
At the end of April, the National Bank of Ukraine imposed a monthly cryptocurrency purchase transaction limit of 100,000 hryvnias per person ($3,400 then, about $2,700 now). The monetary authority has yet to comment on the implications of its restrictions on the country’s crypto market.
Do you think Ukrainian authorities will remove restrictions on hryvnia transactions with crypto exchanges in the future? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
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