After Ukraine asked for a restriction on Russian users at key digital currency platforms, crypto exchange Binance told Reuters on Monday said that it was freezing the accounts of any Russian clients that have been targeted by sanctions, but it would not freeze the accounts of others.
“We’re blocking accounts of those on the sanctions list (if they have Binance accounts) and ensuring that all sanctions are met in full,” a spokesperson for the company said on Monday, declining to give further details.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Canada slapped further sanctions on Russia on Saturday, including the barring of some banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, stated on Sunday that he has asked major crypto exchanges to restrict Russian customers’ digital wallet addresses, which allow crypto coin transactions.
Fedorov, who is also the minister of digital transformation, had promised a “substantial prize” for information on Russian and Belarusian officials’ digital wallets on Saturday.
“It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users,” he wrote.
“We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts. Crypto was meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe,” said a separate Binance representative told Reuters.
Last month, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced plans to grow in Russia and neighbouring countries. Binance’s Russian-language Telegram channel has over 113,000 users, making it a substantial market for the company. find out more
Binance has permitted users to deposit and receive Russian roubles using Advcash since 2019.
Users will be able to make quick deposits and withdrawals on Binance using Advcash’s digital wallets, according to Reuters. Advcash is based in Belize.
“On our platform, some users may experience limitations arising from sanctions imposed on specific banks,” it added.
“Making sure our services are transparent, fully regulated and provided in accordance with all applicable laws is and has always been our top priority.”
(Adapted from CNBC.com)