Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, announced Monday that it had blocked more than 25,000 cryptocurrency wallet addresses associated with Russian persons or businesses suspected of engaging in criminal behavior.
Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, detailed how the company is complying with new regulations set in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in a blog post published Monday.
The NASDAQ-listed cryptocurrency exchange stated that it will not impose a blanket ban on all Russian wallet addresses, but will abide with international penalties.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has stated that it will adhere to government regulations restricting sanctioned persons but will not block all Russian users.
Coinbase Aligns With Sanctions
A crypto wallet address is a unique collection of alphanumeric characters connected with a crypto wallet in which an individual can store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, NFTs, or another sort of cryptocurrency.
According to 2021 statistics, the blacklisted addresses represent approximately 0.2% of Coinbase’s 11.5 million monthly transacting users.
Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, said:
“Today, Coinbase has blocked over 25,000 addresses associated with Russian persons or businesses that we suspect are involved in illicit activvity.”
As Russia intensifies its attacks on Ukraine, the Biden administration has urged cryptocurrency exchanges to assist in ensuring that Russian individuals and businesses do not use cryptocurrencies to dodge Washington-imposed sanctions.
BTC total market cap at $734.46 billion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Switching To Crypto
Numerous news outlets reported that following the invasion, a large number of users in both Russia and Ukraine switched to cryptocurrency.
Some Russian people have converted their money to cryptocurrency in order to protect it from the Russian ruble’s declining value, while Ukrainians did so after their government proclaimed martial law and prohibited electronic money transactions, including.
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s chief executive officer, previously sthat some regular Russians are turning to cryptocurrency as a “lifeline” following the collapse of their currency.
Sanctions, according to Grewal, are critical for promoting national security and repelling unlawful aggression. Coinbase strongly supports these government-led efforts, he said.
Certain politicians in the US and Europe are worried that crypto could be a way for sanctioned Russians to circumvent penalties.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren and three other democratic senators wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week, requesting information on how the Treasury Department ensures crypto exchanges adhere to Russian sanctions.
Meanwhile, TradingView and Cointelegraph Markets Pro statistics indicate that Bitcoin bulls were blocked on Monday in their attempt to reclaim support at $40,000 level.
This comes as rumors concerning the upcoming Biden administration’s executive order on crypto regulation and the current turmoil in Ukraine pulled the market lower, dragging Bitcoin to a low of $37,155.
Featured image from The Business Times, chart from TradingView.com