- On Sunday, Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine, asked major exchanges to block the addresses of Russian users.
- Binance said it is “not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts.”
- Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, another major cryptocurrency exchange, said on Twitter that the company “cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so.”
Binance said on Monday it would not “alone” suspend accounts of Russian users, after Ukraine’s deputy prime minister called for a major cryptocurrency transaction to take such action.
“We will not stop millions of innocent users’ accounts,” a spokesman for Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, told CNBC.
“Crypto aims to give greater financial freedom to people around the world. Deciding to deny people access to their crypto will fly ahead of the reason why there is a crypto.”
On Sunday, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, called for a major exchange to block the addresses of Russian users.
“It is important that we not only keep addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to the detriment of ordinary users,” Fedorov tweeted.
Belarus is a Russian organization.
Russia continues to attack major cities throughout Ukraine, but the country’s forces are believed to play a major role in Russia.
The US and the European Union have responded with sanctions against Russian banks, private debt, a summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leader himself. As a result, the Russian ruble depreciates.
Binance said “it is taking the necessary steps to ensure that we take action against those who have received sanctions while minimizing the impact on innocent users.”
“If the international community extends such sanctions continuously, we will use them more vigorously,” said a company spokesman.
Binance said it would block the accounts of any people on the sanctions list and “ensures all sanctions are fully met.”
CNBC has also reached out to other major cryptocurrency markets asking if it will close the accounts of Russian users, but has not yet heard.
Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, another major cryptocurrency, said on Monday the company “could not suspend the accounts of our Russian clients without the legal requirement to do so.”
However, Dmarket, a forum that allows people to trade in-game content, said it had cut off “all relations with Russia and Belarus over Ukraine’s invasion,” in a statement on Twitter.
The company said users from Russia and Belarus were denied registration with Dmarket and user accounts from suspended countries were suspended. The Russian ruble has been removed from the platform, according to Dmarket, which calls itself “a Ukrainian-born start.”