Coinbase will not implement a blanket ban on transactions involving Russian addresses. The US-based crypto exchange highlighted that doing so would mean punishing ordinary Russian citizens who are going through an enduring historic currency destabilization.
The platform went ahead with its decision despite a request by the Ukrainian government. A spokesperson for Coinbase pointed out that a unilateral and total ban would punish ordinary Russian citizens as a result of Kremlin’s aggression against a democratic neighbor.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, had publicly appealed to all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. He said it’s crucial to freeze the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, as well as sabotage ordinary users.
Coinbase has joined the list of growing crypto exchange platforms highlighting that cryptocurrency provides greater financial freedom for masses across the world. The platforms acknowledge that banning people’s access to their digital assets would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, tweeted that the platform wants to focus on individual needs above those of any government or political faction. He outlined that “People’s Money” is an exit strategy for humans and is a weapon for peace and not war. However, Powell made it clear that Kraken will comply with sanctions if they are expanded to individual citizens. Coinbase will continue to implement all sanctions that have been imposed. This includes blocking accounts and transactions that involve sanctioned individuals or entities.
Jerry Brito, the Executive Director of Coin Center, tweeted that regulated exchanges will only comply with legal sanctions. He said pressure to force them to pick or choose whom to exclude is anti-democratic. Brito likened it to asking private corporations to ban persons without any public process.