An overview of current news in the crypto space

Bit Team
5 min readApr 1, 2024

In our digest, we reviewed several important crypto-industry news over the past week:

  1. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia have developed a unified approach to regulating cryptocurrencies
  2. Google introduces crypto wallet balance tracking feature
  3. CommEX, which bought Binance’s business in Russia, announces closure
  4. Greenpeace criticizes bitcoin mining’s environmental impact, experts object
  5. “Sber” cited instructions for unblocking cards after transactions with cryptocurrency
  6. Bank of Russia: Growth of Russians’ transactions with cryptocurrency and shadow activities

Now for more details. Reading time: 9 minutes.

  1. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation have developed a unified approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencie The Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and Rosfinmonitoring have adopted a unified position on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia, including mining. This was announced by Alexei Yakovlev, Director of the Financial Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance, at a meeting of the United Russia Working Group on cryptoindustry and development of fintech services. He emphasized that the regulation will be carried out with the help of economic incentives, which will allow to introduce cryptocurrencies into the tax field, which is beneficial for both the state and market participants. Instead of a complete ban on cryptocurrencies, the Ministry of Finance is in favor of constructive and cost-effective regulation. As part of this initiative, the ministry has drafted a bill on the regulation of cryptocurrency mining, which establishes specific rules for this sphere. The bill outlines provisions related to the accounting of mined cryptocurrencies and issues of alienation of cryptocurrency obtained as a result of mining. The bill is expected to be considered in the next session of the State Duma.
  2. Google introduces cryptocurrency wallet balance tracking feature Google continues to expand the capabilities of its search engine, this time introducing a crypto wallet balance tracking feature. Users can view the balance of their wallet by simply typing its address into the search bar. The key target networks are bitcoin, Polygon, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism and Fantom, with a special restriction to view only the native tokens of each network. Google’s service, however, is not updated in real time, but reflects the balance at the time of the last transaction. This complements a number of the company’s existing services, including displaying cryptocurrency rates and stock prices. It is important to note that while information about the balances of public cryptocurrency wallets is available, the owner’s personal information is not disclosed. Google emphasizes the need to handle private keys with care to ensure security. The introduction of this feature confirms the growing interest in integrating cryptocurrency data into everyday online tools.
  3. CommEX, which bought Binance’s Russian business, has announced its closure Russian cryptocurrency exchange CommEX, which bought Binance’s Russian business last September, has announced its closure. The gradual suspension of operations on the platform, including the registration of new users, the ability to transfer assets from Binance and the acceptance of deposits, began on March 25. Further stages of the shutdown include the closure of all trading pairs, the spot market and the automatic cancelation of open orders. Finally, on May 10, the exchange’s official website will be shut down. Users who fail to withdraw their assets before that date will have to pay a management fee of 1% of the total value of their assets. Binance, which has noted the incompatibility of operating in Russia with its compliance strategy, still intends to permanently shut down all of its exchange services and business operations in Russia.
  4. Greenpeace criticizes bitcoin mining’s environmental impact, experts object The U.S. arm of Greenpeace has expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the bitcoin mining industry. In a statement, Greenpeace pointed out the carbon footprint that bitcoin mining leaves behind, comparing it to pollution levels from industrialized countries. They also accused the mining companies of collaborating with politicians and financial groups that obstruct measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the statement drew criticism from industry experts. CH4 Capital managing partner Daniel Batten noted that the Greenpeace report contains many errors and inaccuracies, including incorrect data on the energy costs of bitcoin mining and the share of fossil fuel use. Critics of the Greenpeace report emphasized that the modern cryptocurrency industry is pushing towards renewable energy sources, which reduces their ecological footprint. Nevertheless, the debate continues, and has brought increasing attention to the environmental sustainability of cryptocurrencies.
  5. “Sber” gave instructions on how to unblock cards after transactions with cryptocurrency “Sber” explained how to unblock the card after transactions with cryptocurrency. Customers whose cards were blocked after transactions with cryptocurrencies can unfreeze them by providing their account details on a cryptocurrency exchange. The bank suspends card transactions after identifying questionable transactions and asks customers to confirm the source of funds. For confirmation, you can provide a screenshot of your personal account on the cryptocurrency exchange’s website, the address of the site where the transaction took place, and transaction history. A representative of Sber urged customers not to ignore the bank’s requests in order to continue using all services without restrictions. The Bank of Russia has already classified cryptocurrency transactions as dubious and recommended that credit organizations conduct careful monitoring of such transactions.
  6. Bank of Russia: Growth of cryptocurrency transactions and shadow activities by Russians The Bank of Russia recently published a report that indicates significant participation of Russians in the cryptocurrency industry. The report shows that by the end of 2023, transactions involving cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin and Ethereum, “potentially attributable to Russians” amounted to 4.78 trillion rubles. These data indicate a high level of activity of Russians in the crypto market. The regulator also notes that p2p transactions are the main channel for acquiring cryptoassets in the country, and states that the average monthly volume of these transactions among Russians increased by more than 50% in the first half of 2023. However, the Bank of Russia also records an increase in the volume of shadow cryptocurrency transactions. These transactions, conducted through shell accounts or “dropships”, are subject to the regulator’s special attention. The Bank of Russia urges financial institutions to minimize their involvement in digital currency transactions and actively identify suspicious transactions. Finally, the report emphasizes that cryptocurrency-related disputes, especially bankruptcy cases, have increased fivefold over the past two years.

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