The cryptocurrency industry in Ukraine is currently experiencing increased scrutiny. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has requested financial information from four local crypto firms, namely Kuna, CoinPay, GEO Pay, and Qmall. Specifically, the NBU has demanded their financial statements for the first two quarters of 2023 to be submitted within the next seven days.
In addition, Michael Chobanyan, the founder and CEO of Kuna Exchange, revealed the recent NBU request. This revelation came to light through a document shared by Chobanyan from the Ukrainian Telegram news channel, Politics of the Country. The document provides detailed information about the actions taken by the NBU.
Chobanyan states that the NBU’s interest concerns payment systems and cryptocurrency platforms. The focus is on gathering information about transfers and transactions within these domains. An internal letter, No. 24-0006/54169, was sent by the NBU through the banking system and came into the possession of the media outlet “Strana.”
However, among the financial institutions that the NBU is interested in are “E-Pay,” “Ukrfinstandart,” “Diamond Pay,” and “X Pay Group.” These non-banking financial institutions have significant assets totaling hundreds of millions of hryvnias.
Further, the NBU has requested detailed information about four websites in addition to financial institutions. These websites include Kuna Fintech Limited (based in England), TOV Coinpay UA (Ukraine), Geo Development OU (Estonia), and UAB Qmall (Lithuania). All of these sites facilitate transactions with cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Kuna Crypto Exchange Shifts Focus
CEO of Kuna told in an interview in March 2023 Kuna exchange decided to withdraw from its business-to-customer market in Ukraine due to what they described as “predatory actions” by the NBU. Moreover, Kuna’s exchange volumes have decreased dramatically by 90% over the past few months. The alleged hostile stance of Ukrainian authorities towards the crypto industry partially caused this decline.
Despite the challenges they face, Kuna’s CEO, Chobanyan, recognizes potential benefits in the recent actions taken by the government. As a result, the company is shifting its focus towards Europe and targeting the business-to-business market. One noteworthy development is their launch of KunaPay, a crypto-acquiring service. Chobanyan ponders whether this strategic move has influenced the actions of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU
Furthermore, Chobanyan remains optimistic despite the lack of disclosure regarding the NBU’s information collection efforts. In addition, they thank the NBU for motivating their transformation into a successful European company. This transformation allowed them to surpass their previous existence as a niche player in Ukraine. However, it remains uncertain whether these actions will result in cryptocurrency-related payment bans or restrictions.
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