Russian crypto traders are trying to get unlimited accounts on global exchanges because their access to such platforms is limited. Over the past year, the supply of such accounts on the dark web has increased significantly, cyber security experts told Russian media.
The supply of crypto exchange accounts for Russian users has doubled in the year of sanctions
More and more ready-to-use cryptocurrency exchange accounts are being sold to residents of Russia. While this is not a new phenomenon — such accounts are often used by fraudsters and money launderers — the current surge in supply is attributed to restrictions that trading platforms have imposed on buyers from Russia as a result of complying with sanctions due to the war. in Ukraine.
Russian residents bought the accounts despite the dangers, including the risk that whoever created them could retain access after the sale, Kommersant reported. But they are cheap and offers on dark markets have doubled since the start of 2022, Nikolay Chursin of the information security threat analysis group Positive Technologies told the business daily.
According to Peter Mareichov, an analyst at Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence, the number of new listings for ready-made and verified wallets on various exchanges reached 400 in December. There has also been an increase in proposals to prepare fake documents to pass know-the-buyer procedures, the newspaper revealed in an article earlier last month.
Simple login information, a username and password, typically costs about $50, Chursin added. And for a fully set up account, including the documents with which it is registered, the customer would have to pay an average of $300. Dmitry Bogachev of the digital threat analysis company Jet Infosystems explained that the price depends on factors such as the country and date of registration, as well as the history of activity. Older accounts are more expensive.
Sergey Mendeleev, executive director of the defi banking platform Indefibank, pointed out that there are two categories of customers — Russians who have no other choice because they need an account for their daily work and those who use these accounts for criminal purposes. Igor Sergienko, director of development at cybersecurity service provider RTK-Solar, believes the demand is largely driven by crypto exchanges that have blocked Russian accounts or payments to Russian bank cards in recent months.
Major crypto service providers, including leading digital asset exchanges, have complied with financial restrictions imposed by the West in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the world’s largest crypto trading platform, Binance, indicated that while it was restricting sanctioned individuals and entities, it was not banning all Russians.
However, since late 2022, a number of Russian Binance users have complained that their accounts have been blocked without explanation, as reported by Forklog. Many experienced problems for weeks, including suspended withdrawals amid extended verifications, affected users said. The company told the crypto newspaper that the blocking of users from Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States is related to the case of the seized crypto exchange Bitzlato.
Do you think the restrictions will encourage more Russians to buy ready accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
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