Russia has imposed a ban on all cash deposits on anonymous electronic wallets as its latest push to curb illegal financial activities, including drug trades and terror financing.
As reported by local news publication RBC, the new law will have an impact on around 10 million Russians using online wallets like Yandex.Money, QIWI-Wallet WebMoney, PayPal, VK Pay, and a few more.
Any cash deposits made on these platforms will cease, leaving the users to make top-ups with bank transfers. Thus, they will need to identify themselves by linking their bank accounts to their electronic wallets. Further, this will enable the authorities to identify the source of the funds.
Even transport and travel cards are covered under this new law, so it will be necessary to make online transactions to send money to metro cards.
The law came as an amendment to the national payments system. Though passed by the State Duma last year, the law has been enforced after a year giving the wallet platforms 12 months to adapt their business processes accordingly.
“These changes have been made in order to minimize the risks of transactions with anonymous cards and electronic wallets,” a representative of the country’s central bank told the local publication.
Impact on Cryptocurrencies
Though the law did not specifically mention cryptocurrencies, many experts believe that this might impact upon digital currency transactions as well. However, some are still optimistic and think this will only extend to the exchanges and wallets that are not compliant with Russian laws.
Notably, many people in Russia use online wallets to purchase digital currencies.
Meanwhile, Russia has also introduced a new law recently, clarifying its stance and defining crypto. This law has already been approved and been signed off by President Vladimir Putin. The law sees digital assets as property and bans their usage as a mode of payment.