Coinbase Won’t Be Banning All Russian Users Says CEO Brian Armstrong
After two crypto exchanges Binance and Kraken refused a blanket ban on Russian users, Coinbase to joins them! An hour back, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong confirmed that they are not considering banning all Russian users from their platform.
Crypto exchanges in the U.S. have come under pressure from lawmakers after reports that Russia might use crypto to curtail sanctions by the U.S. Coming clean on this matter, Armstrong wrote:
“We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise. Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too”.
However, the Coinbase CEO takes a cautious approach with the goal of not hurting the U.S. regulators. He adds that every U.S. company has to follow the law of the plan irrespective of the asset class be it gold, equity, or crypto.
Thus, Coinbase too shall follow the law! But instead of a sweeping ban, Coinbase will “block transactions from IP addresses that might belong to sanctioned individuals or entities, just like any other regulated financial services business”.
Little Risk of Russian Oligarchs Using Crypto to Avoid Sanctions
The Coinbase CEO said that there is little risk of the Russian Oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions. He said that crypto is an open ledger that makes it more traceable than using U.S. dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets. He adds that even the U.S. Treasury and the NSC agree to this matter.
In his concluding tweet, Armstrong mentions: “Sanctions are a complex issue, and the situation is changing fast, so we’ll keep working with law enforcement and governments, and will take more steps as needed. We’ll also of course keep working to enable crypto services for the people of Ukraine who are in need of help”.
A recent report suggests that the narrative of Russia using crypto to avoid sanctions is not entirely true. On the other hand, NFT marketplaces like OpenSea have already started limiting access to users from the sanction-hit areas.
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