Announced in a blog Publish published on Tuesday, April 12, Belarusian crypto exchange Currency.com announced that it would restrict its services to Russian users following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sown violence and disorder among the Ukrainian people. We condemn Russian aggression in the strongest possible terms. We stand with Ukraine and all those who denounce this terrible war. Under these circumstances, we can no longer continue to serve our Russian customers,” the message from Currency.com read.
📢 stops operations for residents of the Russian Federation (Russia). Customers in other countries and regions will not be impacted by this decision.
Learn more: pic.twitter.com/uhsQJvgp6O
— Currency.com (@CurrencyCom) April 12, 2022
Like reported by Market Insider, Currency.com was established and registered in the Belarusian capital Minsk in 2018, and primarily focuses on Eastern European markets. Since then, however, the company has moved its headquarters to Gibraltar, but it still has an office in Minsk, as well as Warsaw, Poland, and New York in the United States.
Many accuse Belarus of helping Russia
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most countries in the world imposed strict sanctions on Russia, as well as Belarus. In the Russian case, even assets belonging to the Russian central bank were frozen or confiscated. The two neighboring countries are close allies, as are their leaders, and many accuse Belarus of aiding Russia by allowing it to use Belarusian territory to attack Ukraine.
Until now, most crypto exchanges were anything but keen on banning Russian users as long as they were individuals. US authorities have warned crypto firms against helping Russia as a country and people under sanctions.
Like reported By CryptoSlate, anyone who seeks to help Russia circumvent economic sanctions will be held accountable by the US government, Assistant US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.
Clear message to crypto exchanges
“What we want to say very clearly to crypto exchanges, financial institutions, individuals, anyone who might be able to help Russia profit and evade our sanctions: we will hold you accountable,” Adeyemo said.
However, the sanctions do not apply to ordinary Russians who are not on any sanctions list. Some Russians are using crypto as a lifeline as the ruble crashed and millions lost their life savings.
“Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has crashed. Many of them probably oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them as well,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. mentioned in a series of tweets last month. This stance was also echoed by Kraken CEO Jesse Powell and Changpeng Zhao of Binance, two of the other top crypto exchanges.
Western leaders have increasingly focused on the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to evade sanctions, but this fear has also been refuted by several analysts and observers, including a large report by Chainanalysis.
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Belarusian Crypto Exchange Stops Trading For Russians Due To War In Ukraine
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