- Ukrainian vice-Prime Minister called for action against “ordinary users” from Russia.
- The U.S. urged the crypto exchanges to cooperate in trading certain individuals only.
- Binance, Kraken and KuCoin refused to blanket all Russian users, citing financial independence.
- Many Russians disagree with the Kremlin and “shouldn’t be punished”.
YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – The vigorous discussion around Russia using the crypto market to “sidestep” NATO sanctions has been ongoing since the SWIFT restrictions of Feb. 27. In detail, the U.S., European Commission, and allies banned several Russian banks from using the messaging system in hopes of cutting the aggressor from their dollar reserves.
Moreover, Ukraine’s vice-Prime Minister urged the crypto exchanges to “sabotage ordinary users,” in addition to targeting accounts linked to politicians in Russia and Belarus.
Additionally, the U.S. Treasury and President Biden also called for action. Contacting exchanges like Binance, the White House urged them to “thwart” Russia’s attempts to work around the NATO restrictions. As a result, Binance, Coinbase, and FTX have already agreed to trace accounts linked to specific individuals.
However, the mentioned exchanges did not consent to cut all Russian accounts from the rest of the community.
Crypto exchanges for financial freedom
Binance, which has 113,000 members of the Russian telegram channel alone, refused the call to ban users from the platform based on their nationality.
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.commented the platform.
Moreover, Kraken Exchange backed the statement, accenting the “financial freedom” that crypto is meant to provide. In detail, the CEO Jesse Powell tweeted his stance in a thread, citing his “deep respect” for the Ukrainian people.
However, Mr. Powell did not exclude the possibility that the ban could happen, should there be a “legal requirement” for it.
Furthermore, the CEO took a jab at the U.S. government, mentioning its history of “provoking violence.”
Besides, if we were going to voluntarily freeze financial accounts of residents of countries unjustly attacking and provoking violence around the world, Step 1 would be to freeze all U.S. accounts. As a practical matter, that’s not really a viable business option for us.said Mr. Powell.
Also read: Bitcoin is a weapon system, says U.S. Space Force, as Russia threatens a nuclear response.
Crypto-trading platform KuCoin also joined the march for financial freedom. Moreover, Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin, offered his comments on Feb. 28.
As a neutral platform, we will not freeze the accounts of any users from any country without a legal requirement. And at this difficult time, actions that increase the tension to impact the rights of innocent people should not be encouraged.asserted the CEO.
Putin is not Russia
As protests and arrests in Moscow testify, thousands of people in Russia do not wish to identify themselves with the Putin regime. Furthermore, countless people in Russia take to social media platforms to voice their outrage.
Some public figures, such as journalist Ilya Yashin, urged their followers for an anti-war movement. He called the conflict a “national catastrophe” for both Russia and Ukraine, citing the plan of killing a “brother” nation as “unacceptable and appalling.”
Moreover, millionaire entrepreneur Anthony Pomplliano agreed, calling against the defamation of the average Russian citizen. In detail, he praised the crypto market for giving them a chance while the fiat system cut them off.