Ukraine’s central bank, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), has placed additional restrictions on its citizens’ cross-border money and asset transfers, a measure that will affect crypto transactions.
In an official NBU notice, the bank explained that individuals had been “temporarily prohibited” from conducting “quasi-cash transactions” from fiat hryvnia bank accounts, with cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers in the fiat limited to a monthly total of USD 3,384. The media outlet Forklog explained that this measure would affect crypto-related transactions – presumably those made to exchanges and wallets based overseas.
The NBU stated that its measures on the restriction of the “cross-border transactions of citizens” had been made “in order to prevent the unproductive outflow of capital from the country” during a time of “martial law.”
The NBU explained that “quasi-cash transactions,” are “mainly carried out to circumvent” the bank’s “restrictions” and to make “investments abroad,” which, it added, is “prohibited under martial law.”
The bank wrote:
“[Such] transactions should be interpreted as resulting in unproductive capital outflows. As a result, the bank has partially limited the possibilities of such operations.”
The NBU added:
“In [our judgement], these new measures will help improve the foreign exchange market, which is a necessary prerequisite for the further easing of restrictions, as well as reducing the pressure on Ukrainian international reserves.”
Although the bank made no direct reference to crypto in its release, Forklog explained that “quasi-cash transactions include the purchase of cryptocurrencies,” in addition to forex transactions and traveler’s check-related transactions, as well as gift card purchases and payments to brokerages.
Back in mid-March, the Ukrainian banking giant PrivatBank temporarily banned its customers from transferring fiat hryvnia to crypto exchanges, apparently at the request of the NBU, with crypto exchange also reporting problems with some transactions. Ukrainian crypto trading platforms, however, claimed that they would be unaffected by the measures.