Ukraine Banning Four Major Payment Systems Could Be Good News For Bitcoin

News and Analysis

The National Bank of Ukraine has banned four payment systems, namely WebMoney, Yandex.Money, QIWI Wallet and Wallet One. The reason for the decision, which may positively influence cryptocurrency markets, is said to be the lack of the regulator’s approval for service rendition.

According to local TV-channel UBR, the NBU has informed the banking sector of the decision in a telegram issued Monday, November 7th:

“As the rules for application of e-money by the aforementioned trademarks had not been approved by the National Bank of Ukraine, provision of services under said trademarks is prohibited to users,” the telegram reads.

The regulator also stressed that only a bank is entitled to issue e-money having received an approval from the National Bank and pursuant to the regulations of the NBU. According to the Provision on Electronic Money in Ukraine issued back in 2010, issuers of e-money, operators, agents, traders and users may use them only under the rules approved by the NBU.

The ban of e-wallets covers both commercial and private ones. The NBU has the right to suspend any assets in such wallets. However, the regulator did not clarify whether it intends to influence users of such wallets in any way.

At the same time, the NBU has approved the regulations for internal clearance system WebMoney.UA, which are not rules for e-money application, and contain no description of e-money operations.

Earlier, the NBU has restricted operations of several Russian payments processors, including The Golden Crown, Leader, Anelik, Unistream, Colibri, among others. Banks were obliged to terminate any operations involving these providers on October 18, 2016.

The NBU does not regulate bitcoin operations in Ukraine. One may assume that the ban may kindle local users’ interest in the cryptocurrency. As a reminder, earlier this year said demand for cryptocurrency in Ukraine has grown almost fivefold compared to 2015.

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