Major crypto exchanges respond to Ukraine’s call to ban crypto for Russians

Feb 28, 2022

Ukraine  on Sunday requested major crypto exchanges to block addresses linked to Russia and Belarus, amid growing speculation that Moscow could use the platform to subvert recent economic sanctions.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, tweeted the request on Sunday. This was shortly after the United States and its allies blocked several Russian banks from the SWIFT transaction system. A bulk of Moscow’s offshore assets were also frozen.

The country is one of the largest crypto holders in the world, representing about 12% of overall market capitalization.

But Fedorov’s request faced backlash from the community, with many stating that the move would be against the decentralized, non-politicized nature of crypto.

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said while he respected the sentiment, considering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he would not block Russian users. Kraken is one of the largest crypto platforms in the country.