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The CEO of Coinbase claims that cryptocurrency is a “lifeline” for Russian citizens

  • Crypto exchanges said they will abide by penalties, but they will not impose a blanket ban on Russian accounts.
  • As the situation in Ukraine escalates, more Russians are turning to cryptocurrency, according to research.
  • The idea that bitcoin is being utilized to escape sanctions is false, according to the CEO.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges are staying firm in their refusal to block Russian users unilaterally.

According to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, demand for cryptocurrency is increasing in Russia, indicating that digital assets are offering a safe haven for the country’s falling ruble.

“Now that their currency has crashed, some ordinary Russians are utilizing crypto as a lifeline,” Armstrong remarked in a tweet on Friday. “Many of them are likely to oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would be detrimental to them as well.”

Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, said in a tweet that the exchange “cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients unless there is a legal obligation to do so.”

Given the open-ledger nature of cryptocurrencies, the claim that Russian businesses would use crypto to avoid sanctions is baseless, according to Armstrong. Coinbase would cooperate if the US government issued fresh bans, he added.

According to data from cryptocurrency research firm Kaiko, trading volumes between bitcoin and the Russian ruble reached a nine-month high last week. The most popular BTC/RUB trading pair, which trades on Binance, has had the most increase in volume since May 2021.

Exchanges situated outside of the United States have taken a similar stance to Coinbase. Binance will not “unilaterally freeze millions of innocent customers’ accounts,” according to a representative for the company, which currently has no official headquarters.

According to a spokeswoman for FTX, the Bahamas-based company “plans to continue complying with the regulations relevant to sanctioned countries.”

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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