KoronaPay bans all crypto trading amid Russia stance on Bitcoin et al

Rick Steves

“We want to reassure them that we have a zero tolerance policy for crypto related transactions and we will report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities, as required by AML legislation, including in Europe.”

Russia

KoronaPay has banned all crypto related transactions including cryptocurrency trading as the largest money transfer services across Europe and the CIS region reacts to the Central Bank of Russia’s position on crypto and its risks of financial losses and fraud.

The Russian central bank has started to examine the operations of Russian banks with cryptocurrency exchanges, which has led
KoronaPay to formally ban all crypto related transactions.

In addition, it deployed a specially designed anti-fraud tool that uses AI to monitor and block transactions with crypto exchanges.

Russia pushes back against digital currencies

According to the Central Bank of Russia, Russians are among the most active users in the cryptocurrency market with transaction volumes reaching $5 billion a year and the country ranking third in Bitcoin mining.

The central bank proposed a ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies as well as prohibit the payment of goods and services using digital currencies, including the issuance and exchange of cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank is also looking to introduce a ban on investing in cryptocurrencies.

Gleb Kozlov, Chief Executive Officer at KoronaPay Europe, said: “While regulators in some European countries are still relatively relaxed about the explosive growth of crypto, It is increasingly clear that regulators in some of our markets are now pushing back against the rise of digital currencies.

“We want to reassure them that we have a zero tolerance policy for crypto related transactions and we will report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities, as required by AML legislation, including in Europe. We are particularly concerned about the emergence of fraudulent exchanges, which often feature the names and logos of established financial institutions and payment providers on their websites to mislead consumers.”

This move is a huge blow for KoronaPay users that invest, trade, and consume goods using crypto assets, but the firm is confident that it will continue to win over the migrant population in Europe as it offers payments across 79 countries in Europe, CIS, Middle East and Asia.

The company is acquiring over 10,000 new users every week and is targeting €300m of remittances per month in Europe by the end of 2022.

Russia wants to ban crypto trading and mining

The Central Bank of Russia advocates the end of crypto trading and mining in the country as crypto assets are seen as a threat to monetary policy sovereignty and the country’s financial stability.

The proposal, which is in line with the CBR’s hard line stance on digital assets, comes after the regulator sought to bar investment in cryptocurrencies in the country. However, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses. If approved, it wouldn’t penalize old purchases of cryptocurrencies.

In a report titled “Cryptocurrencies: Trends, risks, measures”, the central bank said cryptocurrencies carry the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme, warning of potential bubbles in the market. Russia’s apex bank also voiced concerns about risks to financial stability due to the high volatile nature of crypto transactions. According to its estimates, the annual volume of crypto transactions in the country is around $5 billion.

Further explaining its unfavorable stance against cryptocurrencies, the regulator argued that they could be used to fund terrorism and result in money laundering.

The Bank of Russia is reportedly discussing with market players and industry experts in connection with the possible prohibition. The proposed ban extends to OTC trading desks, crypto exchanges as well as P2P platforms.

 

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