Ukraine’s Fedorov Urges Crypto Exchanges to Block Russian Users
- Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.
- Earlier, Fedorov searched for information regarding crypto wallets belonging to Russian and Belarusian politicians.
- Ukrainian Lawyer Artem Afian plans to share the list with top crypto exchanges and Chainalysis and mark them as ‘toxic’.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. In a tweet, Fedorov stressed that exchanges shouldn’t only block Russian and Belarusian politicians but also ‘sabotage ordinary users’.
I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users.
It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 27, 2022
Binance responded in correspondence with Bloomberg that it would not freeze millions of user accounts as it goes against crypto’s values. The Binance spokesperson however stresses that they will make sure to take appropriate action while minimizing impact to innocent users.
This follows Fedorov’s tweet the previous day calling out to Twitter for information regarding crypto wallets of Russian and Belarusian politicians. Fedorov stated in the tweet that ‘War crimes must be pursued and punished’.
Ukrainian Lawyer Artem Afian is managing the information on politician accounts. Afian plans to share the list of addresses with top crypto exchanges and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The goal, according to Afian, is to mark the addresses as ‘toxic’ and discourage people and businesses from transacting with them. “We want them to understand that they are not welcome in Ukraine or in crypto,” Afian added.
Chainalysis also chimed in with a series of tweets on Saturday about investigating whether Russia has been using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions. He further added that it’s optimistic that the cryptocurrency industry can counter attempts by Russian actors to evade sanctions using crypto.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government has already used Twitter to draw millions of dollars of crypto donations. Additionally, the country has posted in online hacker forums that it is looking for help against cyberattacks.
Several exchanges have imposed restrictions for users based in Russia and Belarus. These exchanges include Kuna, Whitebit, and Cex.io.
Similarly, DMarket – a crypto platform trading NFTs related to gaming and metaverse – said it severed all relationships with the mentioned aggressors. Furthermore, it has frozen the existing accounts of users in these countries.
On Saturday, Western nations agreed to disconnect selected Russian banks from SWIFT. These nations include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and several EU member states, namely France, Italy, and Germany.