Despite the fact that Russia was never overly friendly towards cryptocurrencies, the country still feels the negative effects of the crypto industry, such as money laundering, suspicious transactions, fraud and scams, and alike.
In order to combat these issues more efficiently, the Bank of Russia — the country’s central bank — recently requested from all commercial banks in the country to block any suspicious crypto wallets and accounts.
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The bank believes that this is the right move to make in order to protect the country’s economy from bad actors who use the crypto industry to their own advantage while damaging the country along the way. All commercial banks in Russia are therefore advised to identify and block any wallets, cards, or accounts that are tied to suspicious transactions, fraudulent businesses, and alike.
The CBR even issued a set of criteria for the commercial banks to follow in order to identify bad actors more easily and avoid inconveniencing innocent individuals and businesses as much as possible.
With that said, the central bank warned other banks that shady businesses could be hiding anywhere, including among the listed crypto exchanges, which may seem legitimate at the first glance. There are also illegal forex dealers, financial pyramids, and others who should be kept an eye out for.
However, the bank seems to be mostly focused on transactions between private individuals, as there have been recorded cases of people using fake names to avoid detection. Banks are advised to analyze and identify suspicious transactions, terminate services to those involved, and help conduct AML procedures in any way they can.
What activities will the banks be on the lookout for?
Some of the activities that the banks were warned to watch out for include large numbers of cash deposits and withdrawals within a day (30 or more), large numbers of recipients or payers (more than 10/day or 50/month), frequent transactions that carry at least 100,000 rubles per day or 1 million rubles per month, as well as deposits and withdrawals within a minute’s interval.
The bank also said that accounts that are not used for paying utility bills, goods, or services will also be considered suspicious. The same goes for accounts where the average remaining balance at the end of the day is not above 10% of the average transaction volume within the same week.
Transactions that fit two or more of the mentioned criteria will be closely monitored to determine what kind of activities are they actually used for.
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