Crypto Exchanges Refuse Ukraine’s Request To Freeze Russian Accounts   

Ukraine’s vice prime minister has requested all major cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze all Russian users’ accounts. Several crypto exchanges, though, have indeed dismissed the appeal. Binance has said that it will not “unilaterally freeze millions of innocent customers’ accounts,” while Kraken has stated it is “not a feasible economic option for us.”  

Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted on Sunday, requesting that all major cryptocurrency exchanges block Russian customers’ addresses. “It’s critical to disrupting average users as well as addresses associated with Russian and Belarusian politicians,” he tweeted.  

In the crypto world, his tweet has received a lot of backlashes. According to one source, the suggestion “totally undermines the principles and basic basis of cryptocurrencies.”  

“A lot of individuals in Russia send money to Ukraine, denounce the conflict, and crypto is one of the few safe areas for them to operate without being incarcerated by their own government,” another pointed out. “Get your money out of exchangers,” several suggested, emphasizing “not your keys, not your coins.”

Russian users’ accounts have been requested to be locked, and crypto exchanges have responded.  

Two major cryptocurrency exchange platforms have reacted to the Ukrainian vice prime minister’s request to freeze all Russian users’ accounts.  

“We are not going to abruptly suspend millions of innocent individuals’ accounts,” Binance told CNBC on Monday.  

Crypto is intended to provide individuals worldwide with more financial independence. It would be counterproductive to decide unilaterally to prohibit individuals from accessing their crypto. However, the cryptocurrency exchange underlined that any persons on sanctions lists would have their accounts blocked, saying it is “taking the appropriate precautions” to minimize the “effect to innocent consumers.”  

In a series of tweets Sunday evening, Jesse Powell, the CEO of bitcoin exchange Kraken, also responded to the vice prime minister. He expressed himself as follows: I understand the reasoning behind this request; however, despite my strong admiration for the Ukrainian people, Kraken cannot freeze our Russian clients’ accounts until it is required by law.  

“As we’ve seen in Canada, that need may come from your own government in reaction to riots, bank runs, and attempts to exit the country,” the CEO added. It might be used by other powers, like the United States, to turn the Russian people against their government’s policies.”  

Powell recently came out against the Canadian government’s suggestion that cryptocurrency exchanges block accounts linked to the Freedom Convoy demonstration. He recommended anyone concerned about their accounts being frozen remove their coins from exchanges and keep them in self-custody. Canada’s securities regulator slapped him with a warning.  

Powell went on to say that Kraken’s goal is to bring people into “the realm of crypto, where arbitrary boundaries on maps no longer matter, where they don’t have to fear about being caught in wide, indiscriminate asset expropriation.”  

According to Kraken’s CEO, focusing on human needs rather than any government or political group better serves their objective. The People’s Money is a human escape plan, a weapon for peace rather than conflict.  

“Besides, if we were to voluntarily freeze financial accounts of inhabitants of nations that unjustly attack and provoke violence across the world, the first step would be to freeze all U.S. accounts,” he concluded. In terms of business, that isn’t really a realistic alternative for us.” 

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