Some South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges including Upbit, Gopax, Bithumb, and Korbit have apparently stopped rendering their services to Russian users by barring Russian IP addresses.
The list of sanctions placed on Russia continues to grow, with the most recent example coming from the largest South Korean digital asset trading platforms.
According to a recent local source, Upbit, the country’s largest crypto exchange by transactions, has announced that withdrawal requests from Russian IP addresses will be rejected.
“We’ve blocked subscriptions by users in countries which are at high risks of money laundering, in line with guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force,” the company added.
Gopax is another huge platform that follows this strategy. It not only blocked Russian IP addresses but also froze 20 accounts associated with Russian users. Bithumb and Korbit are the other exchanges that have stopped serving such consumers.
Unlike these Korean firms, Binance and Kraken have stated that they will continue to serve Russian customers. The former stated that crypto delivers “more financial independence,” and that such a move would be contrary to the sector’s beliefs.
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, took a similar stance, claiming that bitcoin embodies libertarian ideas. He claimed that his company could not freeze the accounts of Russian clients unless it was required by law. He also anticipated that a large number of those users were opposed to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Sanctions on Russia prompted a call for crypto regulations
Some lawmakers and financial professionals believe that regulating the cryptocurrency business is more important than ever because Russia could use the asset class to avoid monetary sanctions.
Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, and Hillary Clinton, former First Lady of the United States, are two of those people.
She went on to say that she was “disappointed” that certain cryptocurrency exchanges refused to quit serving Russian customers:
“I was disappointed to see that some of the so-called crypto exchanges, not all of them, but some of them are refusing to end transactions with Russia for some philosophy of libertarianism or whatever.”
Everyone should do “as much as possible” to isolate Russian economic activity and put pressure on Vladimir Putin, according to Clinton. “I believe the Treasury Department and Europeans should look at how they can prevent the crypto markets from providing a backdoor for Russia,” the congressman concluded.