The Finnish government agreed to provide Ukraine with additional support by converting bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin) seized in criminal investigations, a local news outlet Helsingin Sanomat has learned, citing people familiar with the matter.
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Although it remains unclear if Finland plans to hand over all 1,981 BTC (~$78.5 million), Finnish Customs has already launched a tender to find an intermediary to sell bitcoins. Two sources familiar with the matter noted that at least a "significant portion" of the proceeds from the sale is going to Ukraine.
The people also added that bitcoin itself would have been easier to justify as aid to Ukraine. Now the money goes through the country's budget process, whereby "competing interests immediately come into play differently," the source added.
Earlier, iHodl reported that Ukraine's top financial regulator, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), prohibited cross-border purchases of "quasi cash" with the country's national fiat currency — hryvnia. The regulator said individuals can now only use foreign currency to purchase a monthly equivalent of up to $3,403 in crypto.
The limitations also apply to cross-border peer-to-peer transfers. The NBU estimates that the changes will "improve conditions on the FX market, which is a prerequisite for further easing the restrictions and relieving pressure on Ukraine’s international reserves."
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