Russian Crypto Ban Implemented in Latest Sanctions

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  • A ban on Russians using crypto has been enforced
  • The move came in the latest round of sanctions by the EU
  • Russians had previously not been allowed to send more than €10,000

A ban on Russians using cryptocurrency outside the country has been enforced in the latest round of sanctions. The ban, which comes six months after Russians were banned from sending more than €10,000, was revealed by the EU yesterday amid other sanctions including import bans totalling up to €7 billion and a laying of the groundwork for an oil price cap.

Eighth Round of Sanctions Cuts Deeper

News of a potential ban on cryptocurrency use as part of an eighth round of sanctions was leaked last week, although the efficacy of such a move was questioned because of the inability to control non-custodial wallets.

Nevertheless, the EU has pressed ahead, announcing its latest round of sanctions yesterday as a response to “Russia’s continued escalation and illegal war against Ukraine, including by illegally annexing Ukrainian territory based on sham “referenda”, mobilising additional troops, and issuing open nuclear threats.”

Total Ban on All Crypto Wallets

The latest sanctions package includes a raft of new import and export restrictions, an expansion on the limitations of professional services that can be offered to Russian government officials, and an escalation in the plans to introduce an oil price cap within the G7 to “further reduce Russia’s revenues, while keeping global energy markets stable through continued supplies.”

When it came to cryptocurrencies, the wrench was turned from tight to all the way off:

The existing prohibitions on crypto assets have been tightened by banning all crypto-asset wallets, accounts, or custody services, irrespective of the amount of the wallet (previously up to €10,000 was allowed).

This means that while Russians may be able to move their crypto around non-custodial wallets, they will only be able to cash out through non-EU marketplaces, and even then they may find it hard to get the resultant currency back into their accounts again.