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March 4, 2022

Coinbase Will Not Be Stopping Russians From Using Crypto Services

The major American cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has stated that it will not block all Russian users’ accounts on its site.

On Friday, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated that many Russians are opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that cryptocurrency acts as a lifeline for ordinary inhabitants in the country during these difficult times.

“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. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.” 

Nonetheless, the Coinbase CEO stated that the exchange, like any other regulated financial services company in the United States, will always respect regulations, which is why it screens users who sign up on its platform and restricts transactions from sanctioned persons’ IP addresses.

Coinbase will continue to collaborate with regulators, according to Armstrong, because sanctions are a delicate topic.

“Sanctions are a complex issue, and the situation is changing fast, so we’ll keep working with law enforcement and governments, and will take more steps as needed. We’ll also of course keep working to enable crypto services for the people of Ukraine who are in need of help.” 

As Russia escalates its aggression against Ukraine, world leaders such as the United States, the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), and others have imposed financial sanctions on Russia in an effort to limit its access to funds that it can use to strengthen its military.

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Yet, there is suspicion that Russia may be able to circumvent such sanctions by utilizing the decentralized structure of cryptocurrency. As a result, worldwide officials are now urging cryptocurrency exchanges to bar Russians from using their services.

Major cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Kraken have expressed their opposition to freezing all Russian users’ accounts, stating that cryptocurrency is intended to provide greater financial freedom for individuals and that they will only take such action if there are legal requirements to do so.

However, South Korean exchanges like as Upbit, Gopax, Bithumb, and Korbit do not share the same sentiments. According to new reports, these trading sites have begun to comply with regulators, barring IP addresses from Russia.