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Lock WebMoney: what happened to the Ukrainians money and how to get them out

Блокировка WebMoney: что произошло с деньгами украинцев и как их оттуда вытащитьWM completely eliminated from your functions all operations with the local currency.

Payment service Webmoney in Ukraine blocked — the company came under sanctions of the Council of national Security and defense because of its Russian origin. WM has already stated that all transactions with the currency, suspended, website not working.

Payment service Webmoney in Ukraine blocked — the company came under sanctions of the Council of national Security and defense because of its Russian origin.

The company notes that sanctions hurt the 4 million users of the service. Some participants of the market hinted at the possibility of commercial interest and spheres of influence in the segment of remittances.

What happens with Webmoney and how Ukrainian users of the system do not lose your money understand this issue.

A three-year ban

The security Council imposed sanctions against WM for a period of three years. The decision the Council adopted on 14 may, but the sanctions list was published only 25. In fact, the sanctions came into force from that moment. The company strongly disagrees with the decision of the security Council, noting that it has no relation to the Russian structure of the same name.

Until WM completely eliminated from your functions all operations with the hryvnia (webmoney electronic-equivalent — WMU). This message Monday morning, got all the clients of the company.

“This letter each of our users in Ukraine receives assurances that the international system WebMoneyTransfer will continue its full service on all types of purses, in addition to the hryvnia. Exchange for Ukrainian hryvnia will be restored immediately after the lifting of sanctions,” wrote Webmoney in the official newsletter.

In this case, Webmoney promised to the users at their own expense to convert the hryvnia into a virtual dollar USD at the exchange rate of the national Bank. The terms and conditions of conversion into WM did not specify. The only specific condition sounds very vague: “convert title signs WMU with a “frozen” purses on the title signs WMZ not later than may 24, 2021.”

“If, however, it becomes obvious that sanctions are not lifted-or renewed — no later than this deadline the system at its own expense will make the exchange to WMZ according to the NBU rate at the time,” said the “Finance Ministry” in the company.

Important caveat — guaranteed conversion is not Ukrainian and “technology owner” — WebmoneyTransfer Ltd with registration in Vilnius, Lithuania. According to Dunn Bloomberg, company since 1998 associated with the Russian business Webmoney.

“WebMoney.UA registered in Ukraine and keep their savings in local currency. With the owner of the technology issue is more complicated. The developer of these technologies were well-known Russian company. Now it serves a large financial European holding company, with the parent company in Lithuania”, — says the head of the Committee on electronic Commerce of the Internet Association of Ukraine Alexander Olshansky.

Who benefits

Webmoney think that this is a deliberate attack on the company. According to a representative of WM in Facebook while the company hopes to challenge the sanctions and preparing for filing a number of claims against Ukraine.

Parallel to this, on the website of the President of Ukraine appeared the petition with a call to restore the service. Since the first reports of the locking Unit (25 may) it was signed by 1155 people. In order for the petition came to the head of state needs 25,000 signatures in 90 days.

This is not the first lock service in Ukraine. In 2013 it was the tax claims of the Ministry of income and fees, which was then headed by one of the key officials of President Yanukovych — Oleksandr Klymenko.

“Today’s events make us remember 2013, when the decision of the government of Yanukovych was also blocked accounts of the company. As then, now, hiding behind the interests of the state, it is possible to clean up the market, in pursuit of their financial interests,” allow Webmoney.

According to co-founder UIF analytical center of Yuri Romanenko, the situation can be really compared with 2013. The method of “unfair competition” sanctions, the Council considers and CEO of investment company University Taras Kozak. But the ultimate beneficiaries of the NSDC decision, both experts are not called.

In mass media appeared the names of the main competitors of Webmoney payment system Tyme and global money. But there is a caveat — all three systems have different functionality. Webmoney was used in the first place freelancers from Ukraine, working with Russian customers. Tyme global money and worked in the domestic sector in the segment of money transfer Ukrainian workers in Russia, both companies were poorly represented.

None of them was not able to impose competition in the American segment of Western Union and MoneyGram after the sanctions (end of 2016), is entered against six of the Moscow payment systems (Anelik, Blizko system (Svyaz-Bank), Kolibri (Sberbank), “Unistream”, “Zolotaya Korona” and “Leader”). But, according to the NBU, in Tyme past year has been a leader in the translation market among Ukrainian companies, even ahead of Ukrposhta. Webmoney, according to the regulator, occupied a modest 0.8 percent.

“Webmoney is deductible. Indirect benefit from sanctions will receive foreign financial operators who work in Ukraine, in fact, beyond our legal framework. But to say that they are customers of the ban, it is impossible. We do not have on the market there are large players who would benefit from care Webmoney”, — said Alexander Olshansky.

As a conclusion money

Most will lose, according to Olshansky, Ukrainian users of Webmoney. Russian business under the same brand from sanctions will not be affected. In the first days after the ban among users of WM have any noticeable panic, than to have had to make numerous intermediaries, exchanging WMU to WMZ at a very disadvantageous for users course.

According to the site (to follow the courses users are advised herself to sanction quotes virtual currencies were roughly at the level of the official rate of the national Bank. After 25 may, the rate has soared to 40 WMU/USD, now the situation has stabilized at the level of 33 WMU. According to the quotations, at most a couple WMU/WMZ reached at 42 WMU. Now the dollar is quoted to the Ukrainian virtual currency at the level of 38 WMU.

Together with the sanctions Webmoney lost and the NBU license for implementation of money transfers. Practically, this means that all operations outside now illegal. To withdraw money on the card Ukrainian Bank after the sanctions became impossible. This service (using Privat24) offer only illegal exchangers with transfer “from card to card”, but with the loss of approximately 50% of the user.

“The option of withdrawal to Bank account appeared recently — about 5 years ago. Prior to this, all holders of WM purses of doing I/o through his” tell “Minfo” user Webmoney with 10 years of experience.

According to him, massively WMU was used, the main means of payment in the system has always been considered the dollar — WMZ. Illegal exchangers working with the Webmoney to have existed from the beginning of the company’s work in Ukraine in 2003.

“On the WM website has a list of exchangers in different regions. Their function is to exchange cash (or transfer via Privat24) on the title signs Webmoney or Vice versa. Standard Commission — 3-4%”, — said the interlocutor of “Ministry of Finance”.

As noted by Alexander Olshansky, the sanctions of the national security Council is very difficult to dispute — the very gist of them does not provide any evidence. So Webmoney will either have to wait for the voluntary conversion of virtual hryvnia on the part of the company, or risk money, but remove them from the system as quickly as possible.

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