Popular Crypto Exchanges Reject Ukraine's Request For A Unilateral Russian Account Ban
I'm asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 27, 2022
It's crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.
In a statement to CNBC, 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.” Binance also announced that it has launched a fundraiser and has committed to donate a minimum of $10 million to organizations providing humanitarian effort in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Dmarket, an NFT and virtual in-game item platform based in Ukraine has banned Russians and Belarusians from registering accounts and has frozen the accounts of those already registered.
According to Politico, the chance that the Kremlin might try to move money around the sanctions by way of cryptocurrency is not a big concern for Treasury officials. The counselor to the deputy Treasury secretary, Todd Conklin, stated that, given “the scale of what they have to move, and where they have to move things from, [crypto’s] not necessarily going to be that concerning.” The volume of money that would need to be moved would cause a major spike in the cryptocurrency market, drawing the attention of blockchain investigators who could trace the flow of money on public ledgers. The Department of Justice and FBI have repeatedly demonstrated the US government’s proficiency at tracing and seizing illicit cryptocurrency, including in cases involving Russians.