TL; BR Breakdown
- PrivatBank which is the largest savings bank in Ukraine has blocked purchasing of Bitcoin using Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvnia.
- The bank announced the move just a day after Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy signed Ukraine’s bill on virtual assets.
Despite the fact that the Ukrainian government has moved to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) amid the ongoing Russian attacks, one of Ukraine’s largest major banks has apparently banned clients from buying bitcoins with hryvnia.
The largest bank in Ukraine, PrivatBank, has stopped allowing clients to buy BTC with hryvnia. The move comes as a surprise, given that the Ukrainian government is currently working on legislation that would legalize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country. The statement arrived after Binance‘s Ukrainian division described PrivatBank’s cryptocurrency bans on Wednesday.
“We wish to tell you that PrivatBank won’t give a boost to operations with UAH on all crypto exchanges without exception ranging from March 2022,” Binance Ukraine revealed in a submission on Facebook.
Interestingly, PrivatBank is currently the only bank in Ukraine that has taken such a stance on Bitcoin. All other banks in the country still allow their clients to purchase BTC with hryvnia. This could simply be a case of the bank being more cautious than others, or it could indicate something larger going on behind the scenes.
Binance advised its customers to utilize its peer-to-peer (P2P) change service, suggesting that different banks could make identical decisions at any moment.
Why PrivatBank banned Bitcoin transactions
The PrivatBank website claims that the bank has taken numerous steps to ensure financial stability during martial law, including providing credit freezes and increasing cash withdrawal limits. The first reports on PrivatBank’s crypto-related restrictions surfaced in late February, with some users stating that banks were blocking user accounts associated with P2P crypto exchanges like LocalBitcoins.
At the moment, it’s hard to say for sure what’s going on. However, with the Russian attacks still ongoing, PrivatBank may be simply trying to avoid any potential legal issues that could come up down the road. Only time will tell what actually happens, but for now, it looks like buying bitcoins in Ukraine might be a little more difficult than it used to be.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs to regulate crypto in Ukraine
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a document to establish a legal framework for the country to operate a licensed crypto market. The Ukrainian government was working swiftly to implement rules, with the Ukrainian parliament passing legislation in its second reading in mid-February.
This latest news means that, despite PrivatBank’s decision, it’s still possible to buy BTC in Ukraine. However, it’s worth noting that the process might be a bit more complicated than before.
Ukrainian users will now have to go through a licensed exchange to buy BTC. While this is still possible, it’s not as convenient as simply using a service like LocalBitcoins. Overall, it’s a positive development for the crypto industry in Ukraine, but it’s worth keeping an eye on how things play out in the coming weeks and months.