Recently, the Ukrainian government approached four local cryptocurrency firms, namely Kuna, CoinPay, GEO Pay, and Qmall, with a request for specific financial information for the first two quarters of 2023. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) demanded that these crypto businesses submit their financial statements within seven days.
According to a document shared by Kuna exchange’s founder and CEO, Michael Chobanyan, the NBU not only sought financial statements but also required data on operating volumes, as well as information about the reception and transfer of funds. Additionally, the NBU requested these Ukrainian crypto firms to provide statements for all their accounts dating back to the beginning of 2023.
Chobanyan confirmed the NBU’s request through his own Telegram channel, expressing uncertainty about the reasons behind it. He argued that such demands were unprecedented in Ukraine and raised concerns about the government’s intentions. He also shed light on the recent searches conducted on exchanges throughout the country, initiated by the NBU, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Security Service of Ukraine. These actions have been detrimental to Kuna’s business, forcing the exchange to exit the Ukrainian business-to-customer market due to what he described as “predatory actions” by the NBU.
As a result of these developments, Kuna’s exchange volumes have experienced a steep decline, with a 90% reduction over the past few months. Chobanyan explained that the situation is reminiscent of their previous experience when they were forced to leave the Russian market after February 24, 2022.
Previously, a report by Todayq News on March 09, 2023, stated that the National Bank of Ukraine has adopted a mixed stance on cryptocurrencies, recognizing their potential to improve payment systems but also considering them a threat to macro-financial stability. In response to the economic challenges caused by the war, the NBU imposed temporary restrictions on citizens’ ability to purchase cryptocurrencies using the national currency, gradually easing them as the country’s economy and financial market stabilize.
And this recent approach taken by the government may be because the war is still ongoing, and they aim to protect customers from scams or hacks by attackers. It might also be an attempt to prevent similar activities that caused millions of losses during the FTX crash. All of these reasons could have influenced the government’s decision to request financial information from cryptocurrency firms.