With claims to prevent “unproductive outflow of capital,” the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is focussing their efforts on stabilizing the country’s foreign exchange market. Their announcement clarifies the lengths that are required from the bank and the citizens of Ukraine.

Ukrainian citizens are still able to purchase Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and use quasi cash if they have access to foreign currency accounts. However, there is a maximum of UAH 100,000 or about $3,400 that may be purchased per month by each individual. This limit also applies to cross-border peer-to-peer transactions. 

Besides Bitcoin, other non-cash or quasi cash transactions include: the replenishment of electronic wallets, traveler’s checks, brokerage, and forex accounts. 

If a Ukrainian has an account issued in the local currency (hryvnia), then they are also subject to the cross-border peer-to-peer transaction rule of UAH 100,000 per month but quasi cash transactions from these accounts are prohibited until further notice. 

The NBU claims that these steps are necessary in order to help improve the country’s foreign exchange market and ease pressure on Ukraine’s international reserves.

Reports from the NBU state that foreign currency transfer volume totaled to $1.7 billion in March and $0.9 billion so far in April. Due to this increased demand during the Russian invasion, the NBU has concluded that citizens trying to circumvent these current restrictions, especially by investing abroad, would be breaking martial law.

The NBU clarifies that citizens within the country and abroad are still able to make regular purchases for local goods and services with their Ukrainian payment cards. The NBU confirmed that the Ukrainian government adopted these measures on April 20th and no timeline was set for easing back on these restrictions.

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