The Russian government is putting strict measures to limit anonymous deposits made to online wallets in a move aimed at curbing illicit financial activity. The country aims to deter illegal activities like money laundering and drug trafficking. The new move is likely to affect around 10 million crypto users.
There is a high presence of online wallets in Russia that operate through services like PayPal, WebMoney, and Yandex. Many users on these platforms deposit cash in anonymous accounts. Many anonymous accounts are used to buy cryptocurrency.
With the new regulations, topping up anonymous wallets and transport cards will only be possible from bank accounts. Cash transactions from anonymous accounts will be restricted.
The new measures will have minimal effect on the crypto industry
Analysts believe that the new regulations will have minimal impact on the country’s crypto industry. Antonina Levashenko, an economist, believes that the new measures will not affect the blockchain industry. The move is part of the country’s move to tighten its anti-money laundering measures. Russia hopes to extend these measures to cover virtual currencies, which sometimes present weak links in the war against money laundering.
On the other hand, Maria Stankevich, a business development manager at EXMO crypto exchange, says the new measures will only affect exchanges that are not fully compliant with laid down procedures.
Dmitry Kirillov Senior Lawyer of tax practice Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP, a Moscow Digital School teacher say the new regulations will not affect users of crypto exchanges. The new regulation only deals with those who offer electronic money transfer services by requiring that all top-ups from anonymous profiles be completed in the bank only. Currently, crypto exchanges around the world are not required to trace the source of deposits.
Russians using P2P to escape monolithic banks
Recent research shows that a growing number of people use P2P trading platforms in Russia to avoid a highly monopolized banking system. The research comes at a time when the Russian government is working to limit use of crypto assets among its citizens. Bitcoin, in the context of P2P, allows investors the flexibility to try out alternative investment products that are not offered in the financial market.