• Binance, Kraken and Coinbase have rejected the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister’s request to block all Russian crypto exchange accounts.
  • The major digital asset exchanges stated that they cannot freeze accounts of Russian users without a legal requirement to do so.
  • The exchanges further stated that they will only block accounts to comply with legal sanctions.

Three major cryptocurrency exchanges have refused to freeze the digital asset accounts of Russians following the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister’s request. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has warned against the risks of storing crypto on centralized exchanges.

Ukraine’s request to block Russian crypto users denied

The Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Federov requested major cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze Russian accounts. He asked all major digital asset exchanges to block the addresses of Russian users. 

He further stated, “It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russia and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users.”

Binance, Kraken and Coinbase have refused to block Russian users. Binance and Kraken stated that they will refuse to do so unless legally required. 

According to a Binance representative, the exchange will not “unilaterally freeze” millions of users’ accounts because the new asset class was meant to provide greater financial freedom for all users around the world. The crypto exchange stated that it will comply to block Russian accounts only if they have had sanctions imposed upon them.

Kraken further stated that the exchange cannot freeze the accounts of its Russian users without a legal requirement to do so. Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell recently urged users to remove cryptocurrencies from centralized exchanges, following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on trucker-led protests. Trudeau ordered to freeze bank accounts and crypto assets belonging to leaders of Canada’s anti-vaccine mandate movement last week.

A spokesperson for Coinbase responded to the request, saying that “a unilateral and total ban would punish ordinary Russian citizens who are enduring historic currency destabilization as a result of their government’s aggression against a democratic neighbor.”

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