Crypto Exchanges Binance and Kuna Suspend Card Transactions in Ukrainian Hryvnia – Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and Kuna, a prominent Ukrainian exchange, have declared a temporary halt in their operations with bank cards denominated in Ukrainian hryvnia. Both exchanges acknowledged encountering issues with transactions involving such cards.
According to representatives from Binance, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has imposed restrictions that have led to limited processing of deposits and withdrawals in the Ukrainian hryvnia. As a result, the exchange has advised traders to use its peer-to-peer marketplace for cryptocurrency trading.
The exchange, being the largest in the world, has faced similar challenges in other countries where local regulators have placed restrictions on cryptocurrency exchanges. “Currently, fiat channels, namely input and withdrawal through a bank card and other payment services, are temporarily suspended among cryptocurrency exchanges throughout Ukraine,” the trading platform stated in a Telegram post, quoted by Bits.media.
“Regarding the hryvnia card and input/output to the exchange. Yes, it doesn’t work. In brief, we are looking for ways out of the situation, under the threat of stopping the entire Ukrainian crypto/card UAH market,” Kuna founder Michael Chobanian said in his Telegram channel.
Chobanian, on Friday, implied that the issues with non-cash hryvnia transactions may be linked to the Ukrainian government’s crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion activities carried out through online gambling platforms. This suggestion followed a statement by a Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Zhmerenetsky, who claimed that such activities generate an annual turnover of 54 billion hryvnia (approximately $1.5 billion). The deputy, Oleksiy Zhmerenetsky, later confirmed he saw a link between the two.
According to Chobanian, the problems related to depositing and withdrawing Ukrainian hryvnia on cryptocurrency exchanges began in September of last year. However, since the end of December, the restrictions imposed by the central bank have become increasingly tougher. He further elaborated: “The NBU banned P2P and A2C transactions for financial companies, and since all crypto exchanges work through them, as a result, everything is gone for them.”
Chobanian holds the view that the restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in Ukraine could tarnish the country’s reputation as a leader in the adoption of digital assets in the region and globally. He further suggests that these measures could adversely impact the activities of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as cryptocurrency donations.
Recent reports from blockchain intelligence firms, Elliptic and Chainalysis, have shown that Ukraine has raised over $212 million in cryptocurrency. This is for defense and humanitarian efforts since the onset of the Russian invasion in late February 2022. Out of this amount, $70 million has been deposited in government-provided addresses.
In late April, the National Bank of Ukraine introduced a monthly transaction limit of 100,000 hryvnia per person (equivalent to $3,400 at the time, or approximately $2,700 presently) on the purchase of cryptocurrencies. The central bank has not yet issued any official statement regarding the impact of its restrictions on the country’s cryptocurrency market.