Cryptocurrencies are being exchanged for cash by Russians. On the streets, Russians are immediately exchanging cryptocurrency for fiat money. The date of this restriction's expiration, March 9, 2023, is current as of this writing. However, there is no assurance for Russian nationals that the central bank will eliminate the limitations after this time. The prior deadline was September 9, 2022, but the Russian authorities extended it to August for six months.
Since March 9, 2022, there have been limitations on cash withdrawals in the Russian Federation. According to the central bank, Russians were not allowed to withdraw more than $10,000 or is equivalent in euros. The money needs to have been put in the account before March 9, 2022, for this to be achievable.
What worsens the circumstance?
Many Russians' bank accounts contain "frozen" cash. Other things also made the situation worse:
(a) The import of dollars and euros into Russia is prohibited. The limitations have made the cash crunch worse.
(b) Many Russian banks are not connected to the SWIFT system for international interbank payments. Customers of these establishments are unable to transfer money abroad. Banks allow customers to swap their dollars and euros for rubles as an "alternative." The exchange rate, meanwhile, might be substantially better.
(c) Russian credit institutions have started charging charges for holding non-cash money.
(d) Residents of the Russian Federation who own currency risk facing National Clearing Center sanctions (KCK).
Stablecoins: A mean of escape
Stablecoins are, for many, the solution to this problem. Tether (1), which is at the top in capitalization, is one of them (USDT). Tether is 1:1 correlated to the US dollar. It can be bought anonymously, transported overseas without limits, and traded for real currency. So, compared to a cashless dollar, the exchange rate for Tether is more reliable and beneficial. For instance, when ath the time of writing, 59 rubles could be exchanged for one dollar in Sberbank. On the Binance P2P network, one USDT is worth 64 rubles simultaneously.
Beginning in October 2022, the EU prohibited the operation of cryptocurrency wallets connected to the Russian Federation due to the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies. However, few cryptocurrency services and trading platforms are prepared to apply limits.
It turns out that stablecoins remain a viable alternative to cash for many despite EU efforts to restrict Russian access to cryptocurrencies. The new financial vehicle is attracting the attention of Russian citizens. Additionally, exchange offices that allow for executing transactions involving digital assets have popped up on the streets of Russian cities.
Russians and open-air cryptocurrency exchanges
In Sochi, journalists could speak with a representative of a street exchange office. The point of sale was established on a busy roadway close to the local market. His primary line of work turned out to be purchasing USDT and dollars.
How to swap cryptocurrency for cash safely.
As of this writing, there are no offers on Binance's P2P platform to exchange USDT for actual cash. As a result, the proposal of street "exchange offices" seems appealing. Here are some reasons why using a P2P platform to trade cryptocurrencies for cash is safer than using a street exchange office:
(a)The P2P platform serves as a security guarantee. Until the buyer verifies receipt of payment, the platform freezes the seller's bitcoin and does not transfer it to the latter's account.
(b)In the event of a disagreement, the P2P platform's representatives can assist in resolving it.
(d) It is important to remember that many platforms only allow for large-scale transactions starting at several thousand dollars.
What about safety?
Unfortunately, the street exchange agents' USDT monetization scheme is quite unsafe. When the Tether is delivered to the buyer's address, there is no assurance that the seller will give you the money. It will be difficult for the victim to establish guilt. Such a vendor can easily escape with these funds.