Russian user accounts.
“We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts,” a spokesperson for Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, told CNBC.
“Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”
On Sunday, Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine, asked major exchanges to block the 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,” Fedorov said in a tweet.
Belarus is a Russian ally.
Russia continues to attack major cities across Ukraine, but the country’s forces are believed to have mostly held off Russian advances.
According to Bornyakov, the donations have been used to buy vision goggles, military optics, bulletproof vests, packed lunches, medicines, and other military supplies — but no weapons.
“Each and every helmet and vest bought via crypto donations is currently saving Ukrainian soilders’ lives,” Bornyakov Tweeted.
Earlier this month, the government cancelled a high-profile airdrop, a popular incentive that gives crypto donors free access to more tokens. However, as typical for airdrops, the country was being inundated with micro-donations of negligible amounts from donors across the world seeking to qualify for the promotion. According to some reports, 95% of Ukraine’s donors were only sending 0.001 Ether or 0.01 Ether.
The Senators call for a response to the following questions by 23 March 2022:
- How does OFAC work with foreign governments and other participants in the international banking community to ensure that cryptocurrency is not used to evade sanctions?
- What are the challenges OFAC has faced in applying the October guidance?
- Of all sanctions violations documented by OFAC in the virtual currency industry, what percentage of them were self-disclosed?
- How has the growth of DeFi arrangements and services affected malign actors’ ability to circumvent sanctions, as well as OFAC’s ability to enforce sanctions?
- What additional tools, including legal authorities or funding, might be necessary for OFAC to ensure that cryptocurrency participants are not able to help Russia or other malign actors evade U.S.
Many other exchanges are providing support for crypto donations to Ukraine.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has made crypto an integral part of the resistance. Ukraine has been consistently appealing to people worldwide to support their country and sabotage Russia altogether.
Freeze the Motherland
FXEmpire recently reported on the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine appealing to all the major cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide to block Russian investors.
He cited that not only should the Russian and Belarusian politicians’ accounts be blocked, but even ordinary citizens should be sabotaged.
In response to his request, one of Ukraine’s crypto and NFT, Metaverse items exchange, announced that they would be adhering to his request.
It’s the maverick streak of these CEOs who pulled out and started this thundering herd,” he said, “courageous CEOs who had the moral character to pull out.”
What a full ban on Russia would and wouldn’t do
Some specialists said that blocking all Russians from crypto would not only potentially inflict damage on millions of innocent citizens, but it would also do little to amplify the West’s sanctions on Russia’s economy. The reason? Russia doesn’t have the digital infrastructure to tap into crypto assets at a level required to outmaneuver the economic penalties already imposed by the US and its allies.
“You can’t flip a switch overnight and run a G20 economy on cryptocurrency,” Conklin said during the webinar hosted by blockchain intelligence company TRM.
A Binance spokesperson told Reuters that the cryptocurrency exchange is “blocking accounts of those on the sanctions list (if they have Binance accounts) and ensuring that all sanctions are met in full.”
Binance has no plans to extend the ban to typical Russian account holders.
Coinbase has refused the request and told Decrypt that “a unilateral and total ban would punish ordinary Russian citizens who are enduring historic currency destabilization as a result of their government’s aggression against a democratic neighbor.” However, the organization will comply with any future sanctions.
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The collection is a vital element of the NFT environment because of its breathtaking and genuine depiction of the people’s fortitude, resilience, and faith (ABC News).
Avatars For Ukraine
Avatars for Ukraine is the name of the NFT collection created in honor of the charity.
Original meaning of the word “avatar,” translated from Sanskrit as “incarnation,” is referred to in the title.
The breathtaking artworks capture the embodiment of all that a free Ukraine stands for: its energy, soul, knowledge, and love.
These NFT artworks serve as a memorabilia of these painful times of war.
Le site web compte au total plus de 10 millions de transactions conclues. C’est donc un acteur non négligeable de la représentation des NFT dans le secteur.
Bien que la plateforme compte des milliers d’utilisateurs sur le territoire Russe, cela ne l’a pas empêché de publier un message inquiétant à leur égard.
Ainsi l’entreprise annonce 4 mesures visant à pénaliser les utilisateurs Russes et Biélorusses.
– All assets and skins remain on user accounts, but access to their use is currently limited;
– Russian Ruble is removed from the platform.
— DMarket (@dmarket) February 27, 2022
Premièrement, une interdiction formelle des inscriptions pour les territoires concernés ainsi que la suppression du rouble russe de leur liste de monnaies acceptées.
Ukraine has requested major cryptocurrency exchanges restrict the activities of Russian account holders.
Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, tweeted the appeal on February 27, asking that “all major crypto exchanges 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,” Fedorov said.
Economic sanctions and the upcoming exclusion of some Russian banks from the global SWIFT financial system have already prompted concerns of a cash run in Russia. But crypto companies have so far not agreed with the Ukrainian request to block all Russian users.
The NFT marketplace DMarket, which specializes in video game item NFTs, in effect, froze the wallets of all users from Russia and Belarus in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
By contrast, the prominent crypto VASP Binance has stated it will not impede the actions of Russian users, including its NFT service, BinanceNFT. Binance, however, said that Russians cannot use Mastercard and Visa Cards on Binance, as both have halted their services to Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine.
The expansion of protocols and practices of monitoring NFT transactions has gained importance since the increase of US sanctions on Russia.
And some said the volume of the whole crypto market is still too small to really help Putin’s government counter the impact of Western economic penalties, even if it tried.
But other experts on the role the private sector can play in global conflicts said bringing the Russian economy to a standstill is the one nonmilitary way to thwart Putin’s advance on Ukraine, and that crypto exchanges can contribute to that only if they stop operating in Russia altogether.
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are recorded on a blockchain, a distributed digital ledger that can’t be altered. They usually aren’t backed by an underlying asset, such as fiat currency. That’s why they could be an ideal safe haven amid a wave of economic sanctions.
The Association of Banks of Russia even declared the Director of Binance in Russia, Olga Goncharova, as head of the Expert Center for Digital Financial Assets and Digital Currencies.
On the Other Hand
Binance, while opposing the request of banning, proceeded to help the suffering Ukrainians. Binance’s charity arm Binance Charity announced yesterday that they would be donating $10 million to Ukraine.
Similarly, payment processor Coingate also announced its direct donation service to the National Bank of Ukraine. The donated money would help and fund the Ukrainian armed forces.
Litecoin endorsed the same on Twitter.
Thus, while the conflict of interest continues to divide the priorities of individuals, the only important matter is a ceasefire of the invasion.