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March 1, 2022

The United States Blocks Russia’s Crypto Access

According to recent reports, the US government is currently in discussions with some of the largest US-based crypto companies about ways to limit Russia’s access to crypto services. The move is the latest in a series of significant steps taken by the White House to deter Russia aggression.

Crypto.com, Binance, Kraken, and Bittrex are among the country’s largest crypto exchange service providers, with strong regulatory ties to the US market. The US government will focus on these exchanges and other crypto service providers in order to limit undue profit exploitation from frantic Russian users.

Foreign policy experts warned last week that the Russian government was bracing for a barrage of Biden sanctions and would seek to avoid them through the use of crypto.

As the conflict enters its fifth day and a delegate meeting in Belarus fails to reach a ceasefire, Russia continues to bear the brunt of a barrage of international sanctions aimed at its financial services and access to foreign investment.

At the moment, many of Russia’s top energy and finance companies have been barred from meeting global deadlines due to a list of assets allegedly linked to Vladimir Putin that have been targeted for seizure.

The EU’s top nations have already moved to exclude Russia’s entire banking system from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network, limiting access to desperately needed funds for war sustenance.

Other digital financial services, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, have expressed their support for Ukraine. Hundreds of Russians were stranded at pay points after these services were temporarily disconnected, unable to make purchases. Even conflict-free countries, such as Switzerland, have expressed support for Ukraine and threatened sanctions against Russia.

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Although it is unclear whether the US is acting in response to Ukraine’s request that the world restrict Russia’s access to crypto-financial services, its decision is favorable in all aspects. A few weeks ago, the Kremlin government struggled to legalize digital currencies before agreeing to a conditional approval in the first week of February.