Ukraine’s largest commercial bank, PrivatBank has temporarily stopped its customers from purchasing Bitcoin (BTC) with the hryvnia (UAH) — Ukraine’s national currency. The Thursday report which was published by industry publication Forklog reported comes unexpectedly considering the recent progress made by Ukraine in legalizing BTC.
Recall that on Wednesday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law to establish a legal framework for the country to operate a regulated crypto market.
However, the report claims that a spokesperson from PrivatBank has given the reason for the bank’s temporary restriction. Per the spokesperson, the restrictions were instructed by the National Bank of Ukraine. Meanwhile, according to the report, the restrictions will apply for as long as the current martial law in the country persists.
Binance Offers An Alternative To Its Customers Amid PrivatBank Restrictions
Meanwhile, in a response to the restrictions, Binance’s Ukrainian division has advised its customers on what to do. Announcing the restriction, Binance Ukraine wrote in a post on Facebook.
“We would like to inform you that PrivatBank will not support operations with UAH on all crypto exchanges with no exception starting from March 2022.”
The exchange then suggested that its customers should use its peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange service. Because, other banks can make a similar decision sooner or later.
Other Major Exchanges Working Still
Interestingly, despite multiple reports confirming that PrivatBank has stopped customers from buying crypto, some major Ukrainian crypto exchanges are still allowing BTC purchases with UAH. For instance, Kuna exchange still allows both crypto purchases and withdrawals with hryvnias as of Friday.
Recall that the first reports of PrivatBank’s crypto-related restrictions filtered through in late February. At the time, random were complaining that banks were blocking user accounts linked with P2P crypto exchanges such as LocalBitcoins.