Last month, the Russian Central Bank issued a recommendation to all private domestic banks to block or restrict all customer transactions related to the purchase of cryptocurrencies.

This directive also included a list of identifiers of “shadow economy” transactions for banks to utilise in order to more effectively stamp out crypto purchases, whilst still allowing customers to engage in ‘legitimate’ business transactions.

In an official press release, the Bank of Russia stated:

“The Bank of Russia assumes that transfers to illegal structures are associated with high risks of losing money and involving citizens in fraudulent schemes. The regulator recommends that credit institutions promptly identify suspicious cards and wallets and apply anti-legal measures against such instruments. Banks should also provide the necessary protection for P2P services so that they cannot be used to conduct suspicious transactions.”*

*this quote is machine-translated

This walling off of digital currency trading for citizens is a stark contrast to the widespread acceptance and embracement of cryptocurrencies throughout the world over the past year, with more and more countries developing legislation in order to bring DeFi in line with national financial regulations.

This perceived resistance to cryptocurrencies aligns with previously enacted regulations by the Bank of Russia, including outright bans on the acceptance of crypto as payment.

Despite this, private bodies, as well as citizens, have shown pushback, with Russia’s largest private bank, Sberbank, launching its own stablecoin, and crypto mining remaining rampant throughout the nation.