Crypto currency exchanges have refused to fully block exchanges from Russia and Belarus, as Ukrainian government officials call for trading platforms to cut the two countries off.
The vice prime minister of Ukraine Mikhailov Fedorov has asked platforms to discontinue their ties with anyone from the two nations, but it seems some exchanges continue to refuse to do so.
Understandably, Russians and Belarusians are currently hurting and as sanctions begin to take effect, many ordinary people are trying to invest in crypto to protect their savings.
In an interview for Motherboard, a Coinbase spokesperson said that it was about “economic freedom” and that the request would not be honored.
“At this time, we will not institute a blanket ban on all Coinbase transactions involving Russian addresses. Instead, we will continue to implement all sanctions that have been imposed, including blocking accounts and transactions that may involve sanctioned individuals or entities”.
Coinbase further said that Russian citizens are enduring a historic currency destabilization, but the platform acknowledged that it was the government to blame and not the people.
Binance, on the other hand, has shown resolve and said it would help enforce sanctions, but it would not freeze innocent people’s money.
The focus of the sanctions is on keeping Russian money out of the hands of the government or trying to intercept payments made to the military.
Kraken CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell said that he understood the “rationale” of the request, but that the exchange would not freeze assets unless ordered to do so by a regulator.