National Bank of Ukraine imposes restrictions on the purchase of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets

April 2022 – The war in Ukraine is being felt across many industries, and the virtual assets market is no exception. In order to prevent a negative outflow of capital, the National Bank of Ukraine (“NBU”) has indirectly prohibited the purchase of cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets using bank accounts denominated in Ukrainian hryvnia (“UAH”).

In recently adopted Regulation No. 78 dated 20 April 2022 “On Amendments to the Regulation of the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine dated 24 February 2022 No.18”, the NBU has set a prohibition on the use of UAH for settlements under so-called “quasi cash” transactions. Despite the ban, “quasi cash” transactions in foreign currencies are still permitted, up to the foreign currency equivalent of UAH 100,000 (approximately EUR 3,000). The same monthly limit also now applies to cross-border P2P money transfers.

The notion of “quasi cash” transactions includes, among others, the purchase of virtual assets.

The NBU’s prohibition does not address the use of payment cards abroad or within the territory of Ukraine for the payment for goods and services that do not relate to “quasi cash” transactions. 

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