Coinbase Blocks 25K Russian Addresses Supposedly Related to Illicit Activity

The leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has decided to block access to more than 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals who are supposedly engaging in illegal activities.

Coinbase Blocks 25K Russian Addresses

According to an official blog post from today – March 7th, 2022 – the leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has blocked “over 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals or entities we believe to be engaging in illicit activity, many of which we have identified through our own protective investigations.”

Further, the company has shared these addresses with the US government to “support sanctions enforcement.”

The post once again reiterated that the exchange is “committed to complying with sanctions.”

During onboarding, Coinbase checks account applications against lists of sanctioned individuals or entities, including those maintained by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, United Nations, Singapore, Canada, and Japan.

In any case, the move comes just days after Coinbase CEO said they will comply with the sanctions against Russia.

Crypto to Avoid Sanctions?

Many have brought up the question if cryptocurrencies can be used to avoid the sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Brian Armstrong, CEO at Coinbase, said that he doesn’t think there’s a high chance of that.

That being said, we don’t think there’s a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions. Because it is an open ledger, trying to sneak lots of money through crypto would be more traceable than using U.S. dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets.

In the same thread, Armstrong also stressed that Coinbase will not be banning Russians from using the exchange preemptively.

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