In March, Russian citizens saw restrictions on P2P trading in US dollars and euros. Furthermore, early in 2022, the use of sanctioned banks became limited, which took a toll on the use of Visa and Mastercards. However, significant developments unfolded at the end of August 2023, pertaining to P2P transactions carried out in rubles. In this article, we will explore the crypto platforms impacted by these adjustments and identify the safe avenues for traders to conduct transactions in the currency of the Russian Federation.

Financial regulators identified a potential loophole that allowed Russian citizens to circumvent sanctions through P2P trading on certain crypto exchange markets. Major trading platforms faced accusations of facilitating such actions, granting Russians unrestricted access to financial markets. Among them, Binance, one of the largest crypto exchange markets, encountered such claims.

There is a possibility that Binance may eventually exit the Russian market in the near future. However, in such an event, they have committed to providing a grace period for users to withdraw their funds.

The most substantial transformations were witnessed by users of the OKX crypto exchange. The latter went as far as completely removing the ruble from its P2P platform. However, it's worth noting that RUB isn't a primary currency on OKX, and as a result, this decision had minimal impact on trading turnaround. (Traders from Russia can still engage in trading other currencies, albeit not through sanctioned Russian banks.)

On the other hand, other major crypto exchange platforms chose not to eliminate the ruble from their P2P offerings but instead made adjustments to the platform's operations. For instance, Binance prohibited Russians from conducting P2P transactions in any currency except RUB.

Furthermore, several sanctioned Russian banks, such as Tinkoff and Sberbank, were eliminated from Binance P2P platform, Bybit, and many other crypto exchanges. However, upon closer inspection of the available banks on these P2P platforms, it becomes evident that many merchants still support transactions with cards from these yellow and green banks,  often  discreetly hinting at the possibility of transferring to the sanctioned banks in comments. It is essential to consider that such transactions are not secured by the platforms, and if detected, the associated accounts may face suspension.

Why is it important?

In Russia, the limitation on the usability of Russian bank cards on the internet is quite restrictive; they can only be used for Russian internet services. Consequently, every online marketer in Russia is facing the challenge of obtaining access to the USDT digital currency. This is especially crucial for newcomers entering the affiliate industry since, without digital currency, they cannot replenish their balance in traffic networks, pay for services, or procure essential resources. In simpler terms, commencing a career in CPA-marketing is not feasible without access to digital funds.

Let us now explore a few cryptocurrency exchange markets that support RUB-USDT transactions or offer alternative means of obtaining digital currency.

BYBIT

Bybit specializes in perpetual contracts based on BTC, ETH, EOS, Ripple, and various other widely-used cryptocurrencies. Upon registration and deposit, users receive cryptocurrency bonuses, which they can subsequently utilize in trading. Furthermore, Bybit's P2P platform does not charge any transaction fees. This applied to both takers and makers.

Kucoin

Trading with Tinkoff and Sberbank cards on KuCoin is no longer possible due to the same reason: banks being under full sanctions. However, other functionalities for Russians remain unaffected. Deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrency on KuCoin can be done through blockchain transfers which do not require verification. KYC verification is mandatory for P2P transactions, buying/selling cryptocurrency with a bank card, and increasing deposit/withdrawal limits.

Phemex

Phemex operates a P2P platform for peer-to-peer exchanges within its crypto exchange. This platform facilitates the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and USDT with 21 fiat currencies, including rubles, dollars, euros, hryvnias, and more, without any commission. Multiple payment methods are available for each fiat currency, including banks and payment systems.

Вitget

P2P trading on the Bitget platform was launched in March 2023. Starting from September 1, 2023, users who have completed KYC verification can engage in P2P trading. Users who opt out of identity verification can only withdraw funds and close positions. Previously registered users have time until October 1 to complete the verification process. Bitget's P2P platform charges zero commissions, and provides the option to filter trusted merchants. Users can both purchase rubles and sell them on this platform.

Emcd

The P2P platform of the popular cyberbank is accessible to the traders from Russia. Currently, transactions can be conducted using cards from various banks, Sberbank and Tinkoff being among the available options. There are plans to introduce mandatory KYC verification in the near future, although this requirement is not yet in place on the platform. Currently, registering via email is all that's required to engage in P2P transactions.

What’s the bottomline?

While the recent restrictions on crypto exchanges have created much inconvenience for the users from Russia, they haven't caused any severe or irreversible damage. If you've experienced any difficulties, you have the option to switch to a non-sanctioned bank or choose a different trading platform. This also applies to withdrawals, as most exchange platforms allow you to convert your online earnings back to rubles with reasonable conversion losses and fees for withdrawals to a card. However, it's worth noting that P2P trading withdrawals might raise suspicions with banks and could lead to inquiries from security services and regulatory authorities.

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