Ukraine asked major cryptocurrency exchanges to block all users from Russia. Exchanges decline the request

On 27 February 27, the Ukrainian government asked major cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze all accounts of users in Russia and Belarus. The request from the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation also asked exchanges to stop trading any ruble-related digital assets. Letters were sent to the addresses of the six largest online exchanges.

So far, cryptocurrency exchanges have declined the request. The world largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, said in a statement that they will not impose any blanket ban on users, pointing out that ‘A unilateral and total ban would punish ordinary Russian citizens.’ Reuters reported today that world’s second-largest exchange, Binance, announced no plans to ban Russian users, and the CEO of Kraken crypto exchange stated the same.

On 28 February, the US Department of Justice amended the regulation on economic sanctions on prominent Russian figures. The DoJ has obliged cryptocurrency exchanges to control digital asset flow and/or report any activity attempting to circumvent sanctions. It will take effect on 1 March.