Just yesterday, Live Bitcoin News issued an article discussing Coinbase and its blocking of roughly 25,000 illicit accounts that supposedly stemmed from Russia.
Coinbase Has Nothing Against Russia
Despite the conflict occurring in eastern Europe, executives and employees of the digital trading platform stated that the action taken had nothing to do with the war but rather with a larger attempt to battle fraud and illicit behavior in the digital currency industry. Coinbase said that while it was looking to comply with all U.S. sanctions on Russia, the move itself had nothing to do with those sanctions and were simply part of the company’s policies to fight bad actors.
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But despite the action taken by Coinbase, the company says that it will not block normal, everyday users in Russia from utilizing its services, and while many of the industries in the U.S. – from oil to traditional banking – have stated that they will end Russia-based services, the crypto industry is moving in the opposite direction. Several blockchain firms have emerged to say that while they will comply with U.S. sanctions, they will not prevent everyday people in the country from getting involved in digital trading.
Brian Armstrong – the CEO of Coinbase – explained in an interview:
We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.
Among the other companies that have refused to cut off Russian citizens are Kraken – a popular crypto exchange based in San Francisco, CA – and Coinberry. The idea is that the Russian ruble has fallen heavily in the past few weeks, and many everyday citizens who have nothing to do with Putin’s efforts to invade Ukraine are now turning to crypto to keep their wealth and finances stable. Executives of these companies and others say that’s what crypto is there for, and there is nothing wrong with their actions.
Last month, Binance issued the following statement:
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.
If You’re Sanctioned, You Can’t Trade
Coinbase and many of these firms have stated, however, that while average traders will continue to gain access to trading services and features, they will do what they can to freeze trading activity for any Russian nationals that have been placed on the sanctions lists of the U.S. and its allies. Armstrong said:
We don’t think there’s a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions. Because it is an open ledger, trying to sneak lots of money through crypto would be more traceable than using U.S. dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets.
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