Coinbase Refuses to Impose a Blanket Ban on Russian Crypto Addresses

Ukrainian officials had requested crypto exchanges to freeze the account of Russian users and Coinbase has responded to this request. A spokesperson for the popular crypto exchange stated that they would not impose a blanket ban against ordinary users in Russia. Reports on Tuesday indicated that Russia had escalated its attacks after failure of peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials at the border. The capital of Kyiv is surrounded by a 40-mile military convoy and reports indicate that Kharkiv has also become a hotspot. Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine had tweeted on Sunday and asked crypto exchanges to ‘sabotage ordinary users’.

A number of digital currency exchanges have responded to his request. Both Kraken and Binance had turned down the request. According to Binance, doing so would be completely against the principle of crypto itself. Now, representatives of other exchanges like Kucoin, Coinberry and Coinbase have also spoken out about how they would handle the request. Coinbase’s spokesperson stated that banning the crypto addresses of all Russian users would go against ‘economic freedom’. They said that a blanket ban would not be imposed on transactions on the exchange involving Russian addresses.

Instead, the exchange stated that they would continue to abide by the sanctions that have been imposed, which include blocking transactions and accounts that could involve sanctioned entities and individuals. The representative for Coinbase said that their goal was to increase the world’s economic freedom and a total and unilateral ban would harm Russian citizens who facing a historic currency destabilization because of their government’s invasion of their neighbor. They said they were vigilant and would play their par. After Coinbase’s statement, Canadian crypto exchange Coinberryalso stated that it would do everything possible to protect their users from any kind of unlawful action, or overreach that could infringe their rights.

Johnny Lyu, the chief executive of crypto exchange Kucoin, also said that they were a ‘neutral platform’ and that they would not support any actions that would increase geopolitical tension. Nonetheless, it is important to note that there are some crypto companies that have entirely stopped their services to Russia. Last week, Flexpool, an ethereummining company, announced that they had cut off Russian miners. Kuna, the crypto asset exchange, also decided to delist all crypto pairs that were tethered to the Russian ruble. In addition, Dmarket, the non-fungible token (NFT) platform based in Ukraine, also took action against Russian users.

Dmarket had tweeted that due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they were going to cut off all ties with Belarus and Russia. It announced that registration was now prohibited to users from these regions and accounts that were already registered would now be frozen. Dmarket said that all skins and assets would remain in the accounts, but users would have limited access to them. Moreover, they also removed Russian ruble from their platform. Other companies could also join this list, as Russia continues to attack Ukraine and if peace talks continue to fail.

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