Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, is the most recent to ban Russian users from its platform. The exchange has joined the long list of cryptocurrency exchanges that have left the country due to European Union sanctions. On October 6, members of the European Union announced a complete ban on all cross-border cryptocurrency transfers between Russia and its residents. The EU has now begun to block all crypto-asset wallets, accounts, and custody services, regardless of wallet value.
❗️The EU Council approved the 8th package of sanctions against Russia
The new package includes:
Prohibition on servicing crypto-wallets of Russian citizens
Prohibition for EU citizens to hold senior positions in Russian state-owned companies
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 6, 2022
It is due to Russia’s ongoing illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory, frequent troop mobilization within the country, and nuclear escalation threats. Previously, cryptocurrency transfers between Russian and EU wallets were limited to 10,000 euros ($9,700). The most recent restrictions, however, completely prohibit any transfers from the EU to Russia.
Kraken’s announcement comes after the EU implemented its most recent sanctions package, which was designed to punish Russia for its actions against Ukraine.
— Web3 GrandPappa (@Web3Grandpappa) October 21, 2022
Kraken Halts Russian Clients
On October 19, Kraken sent an email to its Russian customers informing them that the exchange would no longer provide services to them. Russian users, on the other hand, would be able to request a withdrawal of their funds. Kraken does not provide information on the time limit for withdrawing money from the exchange for Russian citizens. Kraken’s representative stated that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.
— BitcoinAgile (@bitcoinagile) October 20, 2022
The spokesman stated that they have been working to make the necessary changes to conform to the current package of sanctions against Russia since the EU’s announcement. According to the company, the Russian Kraken account is being blocked due to new European restrictions. The representative did not specify whether the platform had completely barred Russian users from the network.
All Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Kraken, to Ban Russian Users
The announcement contradicts Kraken’s earlier claims that it would maintain access to Russian accounts, calling a restriction on them “unfair” to ordinary Russians who might oppose the war in Ukraine. In March, Jesse Powell, who used to be the co-founder and CEO of Kraken, said that preventing Russian users from accessing their accounts was “pretty extreme.”
Kraken has faced regulators asking centralized exchanges to close down specific accounts, so these additional limitations are nothing new. In February 2022, Jesse Powell criticized the Canadian government for seizing cryptocurrency wallets to finance regional COVID-19 protests. She told cryptocurrency investors to take their assets off of exchanges and warned the public that regulators would force Kraken to freeze some wallets.
However, Kraken has joined the growing list of international cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets that have stopped providing services to Russians in compliance with the most recent EU sanctions. Many cryptocurrency firms have stopped serving Russian customers, including Blockchain.com, Crypto.com, and LocalBitcoins.
Despite Restrictions, Some Exchanges Are Active.
Binance has resumed normal operations, despite the fact that it is still debating whether to restrict access to its services to Russian consumers. Another well-known exchange that has not yet implemented any prohibition is the Russian cryptocurrency exchange Garantex, which continues to provide traders in the region with a wide range of cutting-edge services, futures, and derivatives.
Other well-known platforms registered in Seychelles include Mexc Globa, OKX, KuCoin, and Huobi Global. Bybit, a Singapore-based company, stated that it would support democratic, transparent, and decentralized rights. Furthermore, it will not impose restrictions on Russian customers, many of whom may oppose the war or the government’s position.
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