New crypto sanctions imposed by the European Union are likely to spur the development of the country’s digital asset market, according to a Russian lawmaker. Anatoly Aksakov, who chairs the parliament’s Financial Market Committee, believes the Russians will manage to circumvent the restrictions. Meanwhile, major exchanges have informed Russian users that trading is continuing.
Russians Find Ways To Bypass Growing European Crypto Sanctions, Duma Member Insists
This week, the EU adopted its eighth package of sanctions against Russia, aimed at affecting its government, economy and energy exports in response to the recent escalation of the military conflict in Ukraine and the annexation of Ukrainian territories. Russian access to cryptocurrency, seen as a tool to bypass financial restrictions and export wealth, was also targeted.
The Council of the European Union completely banned the provision of cryptocurrency wallet, account and custody services to Russian residents and entities. However, according to a senior member of the Russian parliament quoted by the Tass news agency, the EU’s decision may stimulate the development of Russia’s digital financial asset (DFA) market.
The opinion was expressed by Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Financial Market Committee of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. He has been deeply involved in recent efforts to regulate the country’s crypto space, including the use of digital currencies in international deals. Moscow authorities have been discussing the matter for more than a year and considering an expansion of the legal framework that currently mainly covers DFA with an issuer, such as tokens.
The latest round of EU sanctions tightens previously imposed restrictions. Earlier this year, as part of its fifth package of measures passed just over a month after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the 27-member bloc limited only “high-value” crypto-asset services for Russians and organizations registered in Russia: those for digital holdings greater than €10,000 in fiat value (approximately $11,000 at the time, less than $10,000 now).
Binance and Huobi Comment on Latest EU Sanctions, No New Restrictions for Now
“Similar decisions have been made before. They closed the official representative offices of their cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia, but in fact nothing has changed. There may also be an office in virtual space, not at some address in Moscow,” explained Anatoly Aksakov, insisting that the Russians can easily circumvent sanctions.
While the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, partially complied with previous EU requirements, only allowing withdrawals in the case of Russian account balances exceeding €10,000, it has now told users not to introduced new restrictions, Bits.media revealed in a report. . Another major platform, Huobi, said it “continues to support stable trading for Russian users.”
Of the seven most popular global cryptocurrency exchanges among Russians, which also include Bybit, Coinbase, FTX, Kraken and Gate.io, none are “European residents” for whom the measures would be mandatory, Russian crypto news outlet noted. . Russian crypto experts such as defi banking platform Indefibank CEO Sergey Mendeleev doubt that most crypto firms will rush to implement the EU resolution targeting all Russian users, as this would lead to the loss of positions in the market.
“In addition, these restrictions stimulate the development of modern technologies. Next year will be the year of digital financial assets in Russia, as you will see,” Aksakov promised. His comments come as state Duma deputies prepare to adopt a new law “On Digital Currency” designed to regulate decentralized crypto assets like bitcoin and their use in cross-border crypto payments between Russian companies and their foreign partners.
Do you think the latest EU sanctions will speed up the legalization of cryptocurrencies in Russia? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.
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