Leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Kraken do not have plans to freeze the accounts of Russian nationals following recent sanctions imposed on the country by the European Union (EU).
The latest response from the exchange operators became pertinent following a request by Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, for major cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze accounts held by Russian citizens.
I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.
It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 27, 2022
Binance has confirmed that it will not freeze the accounts of Russian users. Stating the reason for the platform’s decision, a spokesperson for Binance said, “We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts…Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”
In a similar vein, the CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, said in a Twitter thread that the platform will not seize the accounts of its Russian clients “without a legal requirement to do so.”
To Ban Russian-Held Crypto Accounts or Not?
Although Binance and Kraken have refused to heed the call to freeze Russian-held crypto accounts, the former crypto exchange further clarified that it will take another approach to deal with the Russian authorities that have received sanctions without affecting innocent users.
However, Binance also stated that if the sanctions increase, it might later block the accounts of any individuals on sanctions lists in order to ensure that all sanctions are met in full.
Not following the same path as Binance and Kraken, Dmarket, a platform that allows people to trade virtual in-game items, banned users from Russia and Belarus from registering with Dmarket at the same time freezing their accounts. Dmarket has also removed the Russian ruble from its platform.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has affected the crypto market in one way or another. From causing the price of most cryptocurrencies to dip during the past week to increasing crypto transactions.
In a recent report, Coinfomania reported that Ukraine’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and volunteer groups including Come Back Alive raised about $4 million in bitcoin donations to support soldiers in the ongoing conflict with Russia.
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