In a bid to contain money laundering, the government of Russia has recently announced new measures restricting anonymous online deposits to wallets such as Webmoney, PayPal and the likes. Though not a blanket ban, it is a move to stop funding of illegal activities such as drugs, money laundering and terrorism. Surprisingly, this ban isn’t limited to just crypto-based wallets but any form of an online wallet.
What this move does is restrictions cash deposits to online wallets. These transactions lent anonymity as no prior verification was required for some online wallets. The affected population is close to 10 mn Russian users who deposited cash into their online wallets at both domestic (Yandex, Webmoney) and international wallets (PayPal).
Won’t Impact Crypto-Exchanges
The reforms which have come into effect do not impact cryptocurrency-exchanges. The Russian legislation in question deals with operators of electronic money. By limiting the scope of online wallet deposits only allowing Bank of Russia to be the medium, they have made tracking and monitoring easier.
Peer-To-Peer Exchanges Popular Within Russia
P2P exchanges like Paxful and LocalBitcoins are very popular within Russia instead of traditional exchanges like Coinbase or Binance. A data recently released by Paxful shows increasing interest in crypto-based assets within the Russian populace. That too when the government is hell-bent at making it increasingly difficult to transact in cryptocurrencies.
Russia legislators are unclear about their stance on cryptocurrency and it gives rise to uncertainties within Crypto enthusiasts. On one hand, they have embraced blockchain for crucial tasks such as the election for the constitutional amendment, while on the other they are sceptical of cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, Russians have registered a 350% increase in the number of registered users at P2P exchanges within the last year.