Coinbase and Binance Won’t Ban Russia From Using Cryptocurrencies By DailyCoin

Coinbase and Binance Won’t Ban Russia From Using Cryptocurrencies
  • Both cryptocurrency exchanges considering that all Russians should not be banned from trading on their crypto accounts.
  • However, they are unwilling to stand up to Western governments that have resorted to financial sanctions to pressure a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Despite the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase (NASDAQ:) Global Inc will not ban the use of their platforms in that country to prevent the Russian government from circumventing financial measures in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

This decision of the two largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world could derail the attempts of NATO countries to isolate and weaken Russia to force it to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and its withdrawal from occupied Ukrainian territory.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said through several tweets on Friday that “everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.”
Armstrong justified his position thus:

“Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too.”
However, he clarified that “if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.”

For his part, a Binance spokesman speaking to Reuters stated:

“We are not going to unilaterally freeze the accounts of millions of innocent users.” Although the crypto exchange of Chinese origin, had already said that it would comply with the sanctions approved by governments if they ask for it.

Exchange response to the Ukrainian government

Both Coinbase and Binance had stated that they did not plan to freeze the accounts of all Russians, after the Ukrainian government asked major crypto exchanges to shut down financial operations to the invading country.

Among the sanctions imposed by the United States, the United Kingdom and the other Western countries in response to Russia’s invasion and incessant bombardment of entire cities in Ukraine, is the disconnection of the SWIFT international payment system to the main Russian banks.

A temporary ceasefire had been announced on Thursday to evacuate civilians from parts of Ukraine. However, bomb and missile attacks continued, including the bombing of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, but firefighters managed to extinguish the flames and radioactivity level is normal.

On the Flipside

  • The use of cryptocurrencies to evade Western sanctions is one of the concerns of a group of Democratic US senators led by Elizabeth Warren.
  • They have called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to ensure that digital assets do not become the lifeline for Vladimir Putin’s government to evade sanctions.


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