How Ukraine blocked WebMoney: consequences and conclusions

Ted Capwell Updated:

All kinds of “incidents”, such as bankruptcy of a broker or a taboo on the operation of an electronic payment system in the country, cause a sea of ​​excitement. The first reaction of users is shock, then anger, then – the assessment of the consequences and the search for a way out of this situation with minimal losses for themselves. So it was with the Webmoney Transfer system.

Ukraine blocked the Russian site in 2018. By that time, every second freelancer and trader used the electronic money of this system. Naturally, the news of the termination of the system in Ukraine became a bolt from the blue.

On that May day, nothing foreshadowed the troubles and the list of Internet resources that could no longer be operated on the territory of Ukraine, to put it mildly, shocked not only Ukrainians, but also Russians. The decision was published on the president’s website. It all started with him.

What are the consequences of the cancellation of the PS in the country, and most importantly, what conclusions have users made? More on this.


How Ukraine Blocked WebMoney


What really happened?

It is interesting that the worst thing that could happen in Ukraine happened with the Webmoney Transfer system. Having successfully worked in the country since 2003, the company has gone through a lot, including tax audits, the desperate attempts of the authorities to take control of the activity, but nothing that could affect further work on the market until May 2018 did not happen.

On May 24, 2018, the NSDC decided to suspend the company’s work on the market. There were no chances of appeal, although WebMoney did not give up until the last. The company actually did not violate anything, moreover:

  • had an official license of the NBU;
  • status of domestic PS;
  • conducted almost “white” activities;
  • could provide all permissions;
  • allowed to receive money to the IP account and pay taxes on each such transaction.

Of course, there were some nuances, like any other system that works with electronic money (Neteller / Skrill exception with FCA license for EU citizens), but in general everything happened within the framework of the Legislation.

For Ukrainian traders, the conditions for cooperation with PS were considered simply excellent. Since 2003, they absolutely legally received electronic money, paid taxes and lived happily ever after. The rainy day came as soon as the ban came into force. Was he as black as he seemed at first and what ways out of the situation? Let’s remember.

The First Consequences – WebMoney Guarantors and Decentralization

Ukrainian traders and their Russian colleagues were sure that after the ban on WebMoney, ruble electronic money would be the first to suffer in the country. But in fact, it turned out that the national hryvnia WMU fell under attack . The consequences were catastrophic at first glance. People did not understand what to do with hryvnia wallets, how and where to exchange money, they panicked and were afraid of freezing wallets.

In fact, everything was not as scary as it seemed at first. It is necessary to deviate from the topic in order to understand the general situation.

Initially, the creators of the system thought out the logical principle of decentralization. All electronic currency units are owned by different legal entities – these are Guarantors. They are located in different countries. A visionary decision by the creators of the creators, right? As a result, during the next “cataclysm” in Ukraine, the ban on WMU did not affect other types of electronic currency.

The fact that the ban on the site and the national currency did not affect the WMZ and WME units, indicates the company’s readiness for such “hitting”. The guarantors are WMZ from Hong Kong and WME from the UK. The guarantor of WMR is an offshore company from the Seychelles, and once upon a time in its place was the Russian LLC VMR. They are not affected by a regulation in Ukraine or any other state except those where they are registered as legal entities.

For you to understand, WebMoney is not a newcomer to the market. She had foreseen such scenarios in advance and prepared so that in the event of prohibitions, she would suffer minimal losses.

About system locks in Germany and Uzbekistan: what did it all result in?

Just for comparison, let’s remember how it was in other countries. The system was blocked not only in Ukraine, but also in Germany and Uzbekistan. The first time failure befell WMY guarantors in 2010. Then the local electronic currency forever left the market. The situation was reminiscent of Ukrainian, the difference is only in the name of the currency. Guarantor Tillo Garant was liquidated at the state level, but the WebMoney system did not abandon customers and paid all the money “stuck” on the accounts with exchange for WMZ at the exchange rate.

In Ukraine, the situation developed according to a similar scenario. The company also volunteered to exchange “hung” Ukrainian WMUs for electronic dollars. What happened to WebMoney in Uzbekistan next? Everyone who wanted to continue to use the system was able to do this, replacing the local currency with WMZ, thereby expanding the field of activity.

Exchangers and online stores work with electronic dollars, so no one was particularly affected by the WMY ban, moreover, many managed to forget that the company’s work in the country is taboo.

How was it in Germany? It all happened a year earlier. The Germans also decided that there was no place for the system in the country, they called the company fraudsters involved in laundering black money. In 2015, the blocking from EPS was removed, and all because WebMoney received an FCA license. Now they read and use the tool there absolutely legally. Moreover, the local financial regulator BaFIN denied evaluations of the system during the ban period, and only spoke positively about the company.

And what about Ukraine?

So, we observe the following picture: after blocking the system in the territory of a country for users, options still remain. Only the name of the electronic coin changes, as in Uzbekistan, or, as in Germany, the status of the company is fully restored.

The system is prepared for such shocks, does not lose ground and does not abandon users. In fact, this is the only EPS in the world where the system of financial guarantors is represented by several dozens of legal entities. This suggests that the creators of the company assumed a similar scenario and secured themselves.

In Ukraine, WMU was canceled, access to the site was banned, and in the first few days the decision unsettled traders. But as soon as the situation received a real assessment, everyone calmed down and returned to their usual way of life and earnings. WMU just replaced with WMZ with minimal loss.


The conclusions are obvious. For system users: do not work in national currency. It’s good if EPS, like WebMoney, after closing, prohibitions and other force majeure will allow you to exchange money in national currency for dollars, and if not?

Work only with dollar wallets and there will be no problems with withdrawing and earning even if the company is banned at the country level, as happened in Ukraine in 2018. As for the ban on the system’s website itself, there is nothing easier than getting around it. VPN to the rescue. Be above the fluctuations of the national currency and domestic turmoil. Work calmly and confidently with solid American dollars, pounds and euros.


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