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Belarus-Based Crypto Exchange Stops Operations For Russians Over Invasion Of Ukraine

Currency.com, a cryptocurrency platform based in Belarus, announced Wednesday that it will block its services to Russian users in response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

Currency.com disclosed that Russian individuals would be unable to access its services as a result of the platform’s decision to prohibit new accounts from being opened in Russia.

Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, requested in February that “all major cryptocurrency exchanges prohibit addresses associated with Russian customers.”

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Call For Crypto Freeze

The prime minister tweeted his appeal, emphasizing the importance of “freezing not only addresses associated with Russian and Belarusian authorities, but also addresses associated with sabotage of ordinary users.”

Currency.com, located in Gibraltar, has offices in Kyiv, London, and Vilnius, but was formerly licensed and headquartered in Belarus, according to the company’s website.

Vitalii Kedyk, the platform’s head of strategy and CEO of Currency.com Ukraine, stated:

“We strongly oppose Russia’s aggressiveness… in these conditions, we are unable to continue serving our clients in Russia.”

According to its website, the platform was initially registered in Minsk in September 2018 but has subsequently relocated to Gibraltar.

Currency.com, on the other hand, remains a Belarusian Limited Liability Company, established in accordance with the country’s 2017 legislation on digital growth.

BTC total market cap at $785.52 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Sanctions Vs. Russia & Belarus

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the majority of governments around the world imposed severe sanctions on both Russia and Belarus.

In the Russian scenario, even the central bank’s assets have been blocked or seized.

Russia and Belarus, which share a border, are close allies, as are their leaders, and many accuse the latter of assisting Russia by allowing them to strike Ukraine from Belarusian soil.

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Major cryptocurrency exchanges have responded to social media requests to either freeze or otherwise restrict access to Russian digital assets in light of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In February, a Binance representative stated that the exchange would not “unilaterally freeze the accounts of millions of innocent customers,” while Kraken CEO Jesse Powell implied that the exchange would only restrict Russian consumers’ access to cryptocurrency in response to sanctions.

EU Unleashes 5th Package Of Sanctions

Meanwhile, in view of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and documented crimes committed by Russian armed forces in the nation, the European Union this week voted to implement a fifth package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia.

The approved package included a number of measures aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Russia’s government and economy and limiting the Kremlin’s ability to wage hostilities.

Featured image from CryptoSlate, chart from TradingView.com


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