Coinbase, the largest US crypto exchange has answered the recommendations of the Biden administration to block some of the illicit Russian crypto wallets. According to the message on their official blog post, they have cut over 25,000 Russian users off of crypto.
Paul Grewal, the chief executive legal officer has shared his concerns over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and decided to support the sanctions imposed on the country. Many were concerned that the Russian oligarchs might bypass the SWIFT blockade through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but several exchanges have started to thwart such endeavors now.
Today, Coinbase has blocked over 25,000 addresses associated with Russian persons or businesses that we suspect are involved in illicit activity, said Grewal in the article.
The exchange thus joins Binance who had previously decided to block several Russian wallets as well. While the companies have not issued a country-wide ban, in the spirit of keeping crypto apolitical, blocking the few most important accounts will greatly help the cause.
Since the beginning of the war, we were witness to a sudden spike in crypto use in both Ukraine and Russia, albeit for different reasons. While Ukraine benefits greatly from cryptocurrencies as humanitarian help, Russian accounts started using them to evade the sanctions. And despite the fact that crypto should stay neutral, the community has shown that they have been standing firm on the side of Ukraine.