28 Feb Binance Will Not Halt Servicing Russian Accounts (Report)
The world’s leading digital asset exchange – Binance – does not intend to freeze the accounts of Russian-based individuals, a spokesman for the platform revealed. He further argued that “crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom,” and such a move could oppose the concept of the industry.
In-Line With Kraken
Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine seems nowhere near an end as the tension between the two countries keeps escalating. As of the moment, the USA, the EU, and the rest of the “great powers” stand away from a direct military conflict. However, they imposed severe financial sanctions on Russia, aiming to destabilize it.
In addition to those measures, Mykhailo Fedorov – Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine – urged the leading cryptocurrency trading venues to block all Russian users’ blockchain addresses and thus aid Ukraine’s defense.
According to a CNBC coverage, Binance will not follow his request as the majority of those accounts belong to “innocent” individuals who have no relation to the conflict.
“We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts,” spokesman of the company said.
The decentralized nature of digital assets is often viewed as a symbol of freedom and independence from traditional monetary institutions. With that said, such a decision could “fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists,” the spokesman added.
On the other hand, Binance vowed to restrict its services to those Russia-based individuals that have had sanctions “levied against them while minimizing the impact to innocent users.”
Earlier today, Kraken’s CEO – Jesse Powell – took a similar stance. He described bitcoin and the altcoins as the embodiment of libertarian values, and as such, it would be a mistake to freeze all Russian clients’ accounts. He also assumed that many of the exchange’s users were likely to be against the war.
Binance Donates $10 Million to Ukraine
Despite its refusal to restrict its services to Russian users, Binance displayed its support for Ukraine in that conflict by making a $10 million contribution to the nation.
“The donation will be split between major intergovernmental organizations and nonprofit organizations already on the ground, including UNICEF, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, iSans and People in Need, to help support displayed children and families in Ukraine and its neighboring countries,” the company stated.
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