Supposedly, Russian bankers wish to criminalize noncustodial cryptocurrency wallets

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Supposedly, Russian bankers wish to criminalize noncustodial cryptocurrency wallets

Supposedly, Russian bankers wish to criminalize noncustodial cryptocurrency wallets
1650353693 19 Apr / 07:34

In the past, the Association of Banks of Russia partnered with Binance as part of its specialist center for crypto regulation.

A prominent Russian banking group seeks to prohibit private cryptocurrency key storage.

Izvestia reported on Monday that the Association of Banks of Russia, a body comprised of more than 300 Russian banks and financial organizations, has urged lawmakers to prohibit cryptocurrency storage outside of centralized exchanges on noncustodial wallets.

Unlike accounts at centralized crypto exchanges, noncustodial or self-custodial wallets enable users to keep cryptocurrency without depending on a third party that might freeze, block, or confiscate the user's crypto assets. This effectively enables investors to "be their own bank" by granting them complete control over their cryptocurrency and the private key.

However, it appears that the Association of Banks of Russia is not a fan of allowing individuals to govern their crypto. Due to the “severe problems” of taking crypto on noncustodial wallets from debtors and criminals, the organization has devised a framework for foreclosure on crypto kept on noncustodial wallets, according to the group’s vice president Anatoly Kozlachkov.


The framework, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, intends to create criminal responsibility for failing to disclose cryptocurrency kept in noncustodial wallets. In addition, the group advocated criminal penalties for refusing to supply keys to authorized authorities.


The group allegedly submitted a letter with the proposed framework to several authorities and regulators in mid-April, including the Bank of Russia and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service.

The bankers acknowledged that their plan is challenged by the technological problems connected with forced access to noncustodial wallets due to the anonymity of their owners and the technical complexity of accessing such monies without their agreement. The study states that this makes it almost hard to seize such assets.


As of early 2022, the Association of Banks of Russia, established in 1990, encompassed approximately 90 percent of Russia’s financial infrastructure. In February, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, joined the association, with Olga Goncharova, head of Binance’s government relations in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), leading the organisation’s specialist crypto center.


The organization did not immediately react to a request for comment from Cointelegraph. The Russia and CIS section of Binance declined to comment.

The announcement comes as worldwide regulators increase their focus on noncustodial wallets.

The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted to support a regulation amendment that might jeopardize exchanges’ capacity to cope with noncustodial cryptocurrency wallets at the end of March. Canadian officials noted the tweets of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Kraken CEO Jesse Powel advising users to shift their crypto assets from exchanges to self-hosted wallets following the freezing of COVID-19 demonstrators’ crypto holdings.

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