Lawmakers contend that the Russian government’s intent is to curb illicit financial activity.
The Russian Federation has banned anonymous deposits to online wallets in a move that will affect 10 million users across the country. According to lawmakers, this initiative is supposed to curb illegal activity, such as the financing of terrorism and the illegal drug trade.
10M anonymous wallets are affected
Online wallets through services such as Yandex, WebMoney, PayPal, and Kiwi are very popular in Russia. These services maintain approximately 10 million users who use the accounts anonymously by topping them up with cash. Some people use these anonymous wallets to purchase cryptocurrency, although the exact numbers are unknown.
Experts say the impact will be minimal
Antonina Levashenko, an economist quoted by RBK, believes that these measures will initially have no effect on the Blockchain space. As Russia tightens its anti-money laundering procedures, however, the existing ban may eventually be applied to virtual currencies as well.
An EXMO crypto exchange business development manager, Maria Stankevich, believes that the ban may only have an effect on exchanges that do not take compliance seriously. She believes that demand for such services may decline as a result.
Recently, Russian Parliament passed a crypto bill that sets general guidelines for the industry. The enacted version of the bill was less draconian than the original version.