The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) intends to change the basis for blocking accounts in Russia and has prepared new amendments to Regulation 375-P. While describing the new Anti-money laundering requirements in Russia, the Russian Central Bank says that it might freeze cryptocurrency-linked bank accounts in the country.
New amendments by the Bank of Russia also include crypto-assets in its criteria for freezing bank accounts. Such kind of accounts might come into the category of performing dubious transactions. (RBC)
What is the basis for blocking bank accounts?
It is the first time in the previous eight years that the Russian Central Bank will change the basis for blocking bank accounts in Russia because the AML requirements have not been updated or changed since the year 2012.
According to the new amendments to Regulation 375-P, the basis for blocking bank accounts will be the purchase and sale of virtual assets. However, currently, the legal situation related to cryptocurrency in Russia has not been made clear yet. It is unclear whether a crypto-linked bank account has been blocked or not.
Those who are the followers of Russian policymaking are going to see a huge surprise after these new amendments.
Regarding cryptocurrency, the Russian Prime minister said at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in May 2019 that cryptocurrencies are no longer as relevant and that the popularity of cryptocurrency has declined. This statement from the Russian Prime Minister showed that the Russian government was no longer interested in blockchain technology and its regulatory environment.
But now it seems that this situation is concerning for them as the Russian Central Bank has included virtual assets as criteria for blocking the bank accounts in the new AML amendments.
However, it is yet to see whether this is the beginning of the cryptocurrency crackdown in Russia. If the Russian bank starts blocking crypto-linked bank accounts in the country, then it would be believed that the cryptocurrency crackdown has begun.