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Ukraine’s state security shuts down illegal crypto exchanges

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) has shut down several crypto exchanges allegedly involved in illegal financial transactions since early 2021.

According to a statement from the SBU on Wednesday, the network of “secret cryptocurrency exchanges” was based in the nation’s capital Kiev and collectively processed monthly turnover of $1.1 million in funds linked to criminal activity.

SBU’s announcement claimed that illegal crypto exchanges provided anonymous transaction services, making them prone to money laundering. Indeed, Ukraine’s State Security Service has said that some individuals funded these platforms to organize protests across the country.

According to the SBU, these illegal funds came from e-wallets linked to banned Russian payment processors such as Qiwi, WebMoney and Yandex.

Ukraine’s State Security Service also reportedly recovered computers containing evidence of suspected illegal activity and forged incorporation documents for companies during a raid on crypto exchange platforms.

Connected: New bill to allow payments in cryptocurrency in Ukraine, says official

News of the shutdown comes on the heels of a similar raid against a warehouse suspected of diverting electricity to mine cryptocurrency using the PlayStation 4 console. However, an investigation by Delo, a local trade publication, revealed that the feature was being used to generate in-game currency and not for crypto farming.

Meanwhile, as previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s parliament is considering a new bill to legalize crypto payments in the country. However, the legislative action will not change the status quo of bitcoin (BTC) and the cryptocurrency will not be classified as legal tender in Ukraine.

The country’s central bank is also working on a national digital currency project. The National Bank of Ukraine received official authorization to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC) back in July. The Ministry of Digital Transformation partnered with Stellar Development Foundation on a joint strategy for digital assets and CBDCs.

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