- The Central Bank of Ukraine has banned bitcoin purchases with the national fiat currency.
- The bank said the move aimed to prevent “unproductive” capital outflows in a bid to keep the country’s foreign exchange market healthy.
- In addition to buying cryptocurrencies, the new rules also target e-wallet deposits, foreign exchange transactions, and travel payments.
Ukraine’s central bank is now banning citizens from buying bitcoin with local fiat currency, the hryvnia (UAH), as it tries to curb capital outflows under martial law.
Under the new rules, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is also limiting the amount of cryptocurrency people can buy with foreign currency — an equivalent of UAH 100,000 (about $3,390 USD) per month.
The restrictions are not exclusive to Bitcoin. The new guidelines imposed by the NBU cover a range of security purchases and “quasi-cash” transactions, including replenishment of electronic wallets, brokerage or foreign exchange (FX) accounts and payment of traveller’s cheques.
“The relevant changes will help improve the foreign exchange market, which is a necessary condition for easing restrictions in the future, as well as relieve pressure on Ukraine’s international reserves,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The NBU said the move was necessary because, although the FX market was broadly balanced over the past month, “significant volumes” of foreign currency purchases by banks seeking international settlements “create additional pressure.”
Regular payments abroad and domestically for goods and services do not fall under the umbrella of new restrictions, the bank added, as it seeks to limit “quasi-cash” transactions used to circumvent restrictions imposed by the NBU and lead to “unproductive” capital outflows.
The bank said the Ukrainian government accepted the changes in an April 20 NBU board decision that went into effect the same day.
— With the support of Alyona Nevmerzhytska.