After Ukraine called for a restriction on Russian users at key digital currency platforms, crypto exchange Binance told in reports on Monday that it is blocking the accounts of any Russian clients targeted by sanctions, but it would not freeze the accounts of others.
“We’re blocking accounts of those on the sanctions list (if they have Binance accounts) and ensuring that all sanctions are fully met,” a company spokeswoman said on Monday, declining to elaborate.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Canada slapped further sanctions on Russia on Saturday, including the barring of certain lenders’ access to the SWIFT international payment system.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, stated on Sunday that he has asked major crypto exchanges to restrict Russian users’ digital wallet addresses, which allow crypto coin transactions.
Fedorov, who is also the minister of digital transformation, had promised a “substantial prize” for information on Russian and Belarusian officials’ digital wallets on Saturday.
“It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users, “he wrote.
Reuters spoke with a separate Binance representative who said: “We are not going to freeze the accounts of millions of innocent consumers on our own. Crypto was designed to provide people all over the world more financial independence.”
Last month, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced plans to grow in Russia and neighbouring countries. Binance’s Russian-language Telegram channel has over 113,000 users, making it a substantial market for the company.
Binance has permitted users to deposit and withdraw Russian roubles through Advcash since 2019.
Users will be able to make quick deposits and withdrawals on Binance via Advcash’s digital wallets, according to reports. Advcash is based in Belize.
“On our platform, some users may experience limitations arising from sanctions imposed on specific banks,” it added.”Making sure our services are transparent, fully regulated and provided in accordance with all applicable laws is and has always been our top priority.”