Currency.com Bans Russians From Trading on Platform
  • Crypto exchange Currency.com said it would ban Russians from trading on its platform.
  • New Russian clients cannot open new accounts on the platform.
  • Most major crypto exchanges are still hesitant in banning Russian civilians.

In a blog posted on Tuesday, the Belarusian crypto exchange Currency.com stated that it will halt operations for Russian citizens due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. The exchange has now stopped Russian clients from opening new accounts.

Vitaly Kedyk, CEO of Currency.com’s Ukraine branch, said:

“We condemn the Russian aggression in the strongest possible terms. We stand with Ukraine and everyone who denounces this terrible war. In these circumstances, we can no longer continue to serve our clients from Russia.”

Currency.com launched in the Belarusian capital Minsk in 2018. Now, the firm has moved its headquarters to Gibraltar, yet it remains a Belarusian Limited Liability Company. The company also has offices in Warsaw, Poland, and in New York in the U.S.

Many allege Belarus as aiding the invasion. This came after the country allowed Russia to use its territory strategically during the invasion. As a result, Belarus experienced sanctions and restrictions.

Last week, the US intensified its sanctions against Russia and Belarus and the EU closed its borders to cargo vehicles from both countries. In spite of that, most major crypto exchanges are still hesitant in banning Russian users amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, said in a series of tweets last month that “Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now.”

He also added that not all Russians approve of the invasion. This is because “Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too.”

Following Armstrong’s tweets, Jesse Powell from Kraken and Changpeng Zhao from Binance also echoed a similar sentiment. Specifically, they stated that restricting users in the country was “unethical” and “not practical.”

The war keeps on escalating since then and more sanctions have been imposed by Western governments. This follows reports of atrocities committed against Ukrainian civilians.

Meanwhile, Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo warned the crypto exchanges through an interview with CNBC last month saying:

“What we want to make very clear to crypto exchanges, to financial institutions, to individuals, to anyone who may be in a position to help Russia take advantage and evade our sanctions: We will hold you accountable.” 

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