The government of Ukraine has recently approached the local cryptocurrency industry with a new request to provide certain financial information.
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has demanded four local crypto firms provide financial statements for the first two quarters of 2023: Kuna, CoinPay, GEO Pay and Qmall. The NBU has requested that the crypto businesses provide the financials within seven days.
Kuna exchange founder and CEO Michael Chobanyan shared the news about the latest NBU request on July 3, citing a document distributed by the Ukrainian Telegram news channel, Politics of the country.
According to the document, the NBU also demanded the crypto businesses provide data on operating volumes, as well as information about the receipt and transfer of funds. The NBU also requested that the Ukrainian crypto firms issue statements for all accounts from the beginning of 2023.
Kuna CEO Chobanyan subsequently confirmed the news on his own Telegram channel, hinting that the reasons for the latest action from the NBU are unclear.
“There is no such information in Ukraine and has never been,” Chobanyan argued, adding that searches taught him that back in 2015, before the launch of Kuna. He went on to say that the direction of the “so called” government is clear, adding:
“Over the past two weeks, the first wave of searches in exchanges took place in Kiev and across Ukraine, which were triggered by the actions of the NBU, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Security Service of Ukraine. […] There will be more searches and exchanges.”
Chobanyan told Cointelegraph that Kuna exchange left its business-to-customer market in Ukraine in March 2023 due to “predatory actions” by the NBU. The exec elaborated that the National Bank specifically switched off some crucial payment rails like card payments for crypto transactions a few months ago.
“They are very consistent in killing the potential of my country in crypto and Web3 space,” Chobanyan said, noting that Kuna’s exchange volumes have shrunk 90% over the past few months. Previously, Kuna lost about 60% of its volumes when it had to leave the Russian market after Feb. 24, 2022, the CEO told Cointelegraph.
Despite Ukrainian authorities allegedly getting more hostile to the crypto industry, Chobanyan still sees some benefits in the recent action from the government.
“Now we focus on Europe and especially the b2b market,” he said, adding that Kuna recently launched the crypto-acquiring service KunaPay. “I do not know whether it’s related to the fear that we will launch this service in Ukraine or not,” Chobanyan said.
“I am grateful to the NBU for stimulating me being a successful European company rather than a niche Ukrainian player,” he added.
The NBU accepted Cointelegraph’s request for comment but did not immediately respond. This article will be updated pending new information.
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