Ukraine’s call on banning Russians from the crypto market was rejected by crypto exchange giants like Binance and Coinbase unless law required it.
Even though there are no official decrees forcing exchange platforms to ban Russian IPs, many didn’t need one. However, following the U.S.’s official step to enhance sanctions on Russia, five local South Korean exchanges announced yesterday that they are banning Russian IPs and freezing their accounts.
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These five exchanges were the only licensed ones to issue crypto to fiat transactions. Therefore, this united ban prevented Russian users from cashing out their crypto assets within South Korea.
Switzerland announces sanctions
Today, Singapore made an unexpected announcement and implemented sanctions against the Russian Central Bank, their cryptocurrency transactions, and an export ban on military and electronics.
Given Singapore’s financial importance for the region, this decision is expected to affect Russia significantly. Also, due to the same importance, Singapore hadn’t imposed sanctions on any nation in decades. This rare decision made Singapore the first Southeast Asian country to impose sanctions on Russia.
Following Singapore and South Korea’s lead, Switzerland also announced that they’d freeze crypto assets that belong to Russian users. A senior official from the finance ministry said:
“Freezing crypto assets is necessary because Switzerland wants to protect the integrity of its blockchain industry.”
The EU had previously imposed sanctions for traditional financial transactions and recently announced that they would extend these sanctions to the crypto market.
Japan will also sanction Russia
Even though they haven’t taken an official step yet, Japan also announced that they were examining Russia’s tendency to rely on crypto to bypass sanctions closely and implementing restrictions to prevent that from happening. Japan’s Finance Minister said:
“We are closely watching the situations of settlements such as crypto assets and SPFS in order to secure effectiveness of sanctions against Russia.”
It seems likely that the crypto community will be hearing more news on the sanctions against Russia, starting with Japan.
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