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Ukraine’s financial monitoring agency has restricted access to a number of online crypto exchanges operating from Russia. Some of the coin trading platforms work with sanctioned Russian banks, the regulator said in a report.

Ukrainian financial authorities target Russian crypto exchange websites and wallets

The State Financial Monitoring Service (SFMS), a Ukrainian financial intelligence unit, has issued a special notice report on the results of its operations in 2022. In addition to its peacetime activities such as the fight against money laundering, the agency revealed that it had contributed to the defense effort of the country within the framework of the pursuit conflict with Russia.

In the document released this week, the watchdog announced that its employees had joined forces with colleagues from the Ministry of Digital Transformation and leading Ukrainian cryptography 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 their domain names but stressed that the objective was to block them completely.

In addition, in close cooperation with crypto service providers in Ukraine and abroad, the SFMS has introduced a mechanism of “blocking crypto wallets of the Russian Federation”. It is unclear whether these are Russian wallets in general or those linked to the Moscow government.

The state service recalled that it turned last year to Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, suggesting actions “to curb Russian Federation aggression in the virtual asset market. and prevent peer-to-peer transactions for users of various Russian banks and payment systems.

“Other practical measures related to the blocking of Russian crypto assets and operations of Russian residents have been implemented,” the agency added without giving further details. He has cooperated with financial authorities in nearly 140 countries on the issue while cutting ties with regulators in Russia and Belarus.

Ukraine has embarked on a regional initiative to prevent money laundering through crypto

The SFMS also noted that it was involved in cooperation between Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – countries with a steadily growing crypto market and mining sector – focused on reducing money laundering by through digital assets. The project is carried out with the help of the UN and OSCE.

The report coincided with a statement by Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, promising that the country will become “the best crypto jurisdiction in the world” once it finalizes its regulatory framework for the industry.

Over the past few years, Ukraine has established itself as a leader in crypto adoption in Eastern Europe and has accepted crypto donations since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Its parliament past a law “on virtual assets” last February and prepared respective amendments to the Tax Code.

Keywords in this story

ACCESS, agency, Binance, blocking, conflict, crypto exchange, crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, Swap, Trades, financial monitoring, financial watchdog, regulator, report, Russia, Russian, Punishments, a service, SFMS, Ukraine, Ukrainian, Wallets, War

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Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who loves Hitchens’ quote: “Being a writer is who I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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