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Russian Crypto Traders Offered Exchange Accounts On Dark Web

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  • Russian residents are being sold ready-to-use Bitcoin exchange accounts on the dark web.
  • There were 400 new advertisements for ready-made, verified wallets on various exchanges in December.
  • Basic login information such as a username and password cost around $50.

Russian crypto traders have been attempting to obtain unfettered accounts for international exchanges, due to their limited access to such Crypto exchange platforms. According to cybersecurity specialists quoted in Russian media, Russian citizens are increasingly being sold ready-to-use Bitcoin exchange accounts.

Although this is not a new phenomenon, fraudsters, and money launderers frequently use these accounts. Moreover, the current increase in demand has been attributed to the trading platforms’ restrictions on users from Russia as a result of their adherence to sanctions related to the war in Ukraine.

Despite the risks, including the chance that whoever created the accounts could retain access after the sale, Russian citizens have been purchasing these accounts, reported the Kommersant. However, they are affordable, and since early 2022, the number of offers on darknet markets has increased by a factor of two, according to Nikolay Chursin of Positive Technologies’ information security threat analysis group.

An analyst at Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence named Peter Mareichev claims that in December, there were 400 new advertisements for ready-made, verified wallets on various exchanges. According to Chursin, the cost of basic login information, such as a username and password, is often around $50, while $300 will be required additionally for an account that was entirely set up, including the paperwork required for registration.

Sergey Mendeleev, CEO of the DeFi banking platform, Indefibank, noted that there are two types of buyers — Russians who have no other option since they require an account for daily work and those who use these accounts for illegal activities. The leading crypto exchange in the world, Binance, said in 2017 that it did not outright block all Russians despite restricting transactions with sanctioned people and organizations.

However, as noted by Forklog, a number of Binance users from Russia have complained about having their accounts suspended without warning since the end of 2022. Affected clients reported that many had issues for weeks, including suspended withdrawals during lengthy checks. According to the firm, the restriction of customers from the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe was due to the legal dispute involving the confiscated crypto exchange Bitzlato.

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