CoinZoom, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, has announced that it will no longer accept new account applications from Russians in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of further economic sanctions.
Only existing Russian customers will be able to use the exchange, but they will be screened against sanctions lists. Given the removal of most major payment systems from Russia, Reuters reports. CoinZoom CEO Todd Crosland stated the business froze new accounts because it was unknown how consumers would fund their accounts.
Card operators Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have all halted operations in Russia, with PayPal being the most recent of its peers to do so.
CoinZoom was the first cryptocurrency exchange to exclude Russian users
CoinZoom was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to announce that Russian citizens will be barred from using their services. Larger competitors Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase have all rejected requests for a blanket ban on Russia, claiming that it would be contrary to the decentralized, non-political character of cryptocurrency.
The exchanges, on the other hand, agreed to filter Russian users in compliance with the most recent US restrictions. Binance has announced that it would no longer accept Mastercard and Visa cards in Russia, while Coinbase has announced that it has blocked over 25,000 Russian accounts it believes are involved in criminal activity.
Other crypto services, on the other hand, appeared to be complying with the new regulations. MetaMask, an Ethereum wallet, has been found restricting users in many disputed zones between Russia and Ukraine, while OpenSea, an NFT platform, has stated that it is bound by US law.
Ukraine had explicitly requested that Russian users be barred from cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as a bounty on Russian lawmakers’ wallet information. However, the community was outraged by both actions.
By denying Russia access to the SWIFT payment system, Western countries have effectively cut Russia off from the global financial system. As a result, a number of Russians have turned to cryptocurrency to preserve their assets. The ruble just hit a new low against Bitcoin, while Tether, a stablecoin, saw a surge in Russian trade volumes.
Russians lined up at ATMs to swiftly remove their holdings after the first wave of sanctions, which were imposed by the US last month, fearing a major default across the country’s banks.