EU Set to Ban Russian Crypto Payments After ‘Sham’ Referenda

Russians could be restricted from making any payments to EU crypto wallets following the imposition of limits in April.

AccessTimeIconSep 28, 2022 at 3:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 21, 2022 at 2:45 p.m. UTC

The European Union will tighten restrictions on Russians’ crypto investments within the bloc as it seeks to respond to “sham” independence votes being held in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, CoinDesk has been told.

A previous cap of crypto holdings of 10,000 euros ($9,600) will be scrapped, a person briefed on the sanctions package told CoinDesk, potentially meaning Russians won’t be able to hold any assets in EU crypto wallets.

In April, the EU announced that it would restrict Russian payments to European crypto wallets to 10,000 euros as it sought to stop digital assets being used to bypass restrictions on large bank transfers. The new measures mean that figure could now be reduced to zero.

“The sham referenda organized in the territories that Russia occupied are an illegal attempt to grab land and to change international borders by force,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters Wednesday, following votes held over the last five days in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Von der Leyen announced a price cap on Russian oil, a ban on exporting aviation items and electronic components and restrictions on importing Russian goods that she said would deprive the country of seven billion euros.

Full details of the package have not yet been published, as they are still subject to agreement by EU member states.


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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