Russia faces crypto-currency ban
On September 6, the EU announced its eighth round of sanctions against Russia in response to the ongoing invasion and annexation of Ukraine.
The EU Council website describes the new policy as “a total ban on the provision of wallets, account or custody services to Russian persons and residents, regardless of the total value of those crypto-assets.“
A separate statement issued by the European Commission indicates that related restrictions had been in place prior to today, but that portfolios containing less than €10,000 had been exempted from these sanctions.
Today’s announcement names only the ” Crypto-asset wallets, accounts or custody services “among the services that cannot be offered to Russian users. However, it appears that crypto-currency exchanges, brokers and payment services will be covered by the ban as account-based services.
The sanctions package also contains prohibitions unrelated to crypto-currencies. Specifically, it aims to restrict Russian imports and exports, limit the movement of military equipment and implement a price cap on Russian oil exports.
The European Commission stated that the sanctions “are proving effective“to limit Russia’s ability to manufacture and repair weapons. She also expressed support for Ukraine.
Russia, for its part, has attempted to lift its own restrictions on the use of crypto-currencies. This week, the Russian Ministry of Finance announced its intention to allow international crypto-currency settlements for most sectors. The country has been open to this possibility since at least May.
It’s unclear whether today’s sanctions will limit these plans, as Russia may plan to trade in crypto outside the EU.