An unknown investor withdrew over 6 billion rubles ($83 million) in USDT from one’s Binance wallet on January 20. The transaction coincided with the renewed rumors about the ban of cryptocurrencies in Russia and the news about the test of the digital ruble.
The operation was detected by a WhaleAlert service that tracks large cryptocurrency transactions. On the one hand, the investor remains anonymous, so it’s not really clear if he or she is based in or otherwise involved with Russia. On the other hand, such a coincidence is noteworthy as it could mean that the country’s community is actually concerned about the possibility of a blanket ban.
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert)
January 20, 2022
Pressure on the industry
As CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet, previously reported, 12 banks are preparing to test the digital ruble in cooperation with the Bank of Russia. In the first phase, the coin will be available for payments between individuals. If successful, it will be gradually expanded.
The news also triggered a new portion of rumors about the bank’s plans to ban any kind of activity related to cryptocurrencies. This time, it is said that the plans will involve the Federal Security Service.
So far, there have been no official comments on the situation. On the contrary, a local news outlet Bitnovosti reported that the head of the Financial Stability Department at the Bank of Russia, Yelisaveta Danilova, stated that there are no plans to ban the ownership of cryptocurrencies. Citizens will be able to perform operations with them in foreign jurisdictions.
Still, the rumors seem to worry cryptocurrency investors in Russia. The inability to operate within the country’s jurisdiction can lead to trouble, so it seems only natural that people would want to protect their funds. Perhaps there will be more cryptocurrency withdrawals as Russian investors would switch to other types of assets.