Russians are exchanging cryptocurrencies for fiat currency directly on the streets. The editors of BeInCrypto conducted talks with representatives of street exchange offices to find out how they work and how transactions are conducted.
What is going on?
In the Russian Federation, restrictions on cash withdrawals have been in force since March 9, 2022. The central bank stopped Russians from withdrawing more than $10,000 or the equivalent in euros. At the same time, this was only possible if the money had been deposited in the account before March 9, 2022.
At the time of writing, the end of this restriction is set at March 9, 2023. However, Russian citizens have no guarantee that the central bank will abolish the limits after this date. A previous deadline was set for September 9, 2022, however, in August the Russian authorities extended it for another six months.
What makes the situation worse?
Many Russians have “frozen” currency in their bank accounts. The situation was also aggravated by other factors:
-The import of cash in dollars and euros to Russia is banned. The restrictions have exacerbated the shortage of cash.
-Many Russian banks are disconnected from the international interbank payment system SWIFT. Customers of such institutions cannot transfer their currency abroad. As an “alternative,” banks offer their users the exchange of dollars and euros for rubles. Meanwhile, the exchange rate leaves much to be desired.
-Credit institutions of the Russian Federation have introduced commissions for storing non-cash currency.
-Currency holders in the Russian Federation face the ri
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