Ukraine has written to seven of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, asking them to block Russian users from accessing their platforms. The letter, dated March 15 and obtained by Bloomberg, was sent by Ukraine’s financial intelligence unit, known as NBU.
In addition to Binance and Coinbase, the other exchanges targeted by the request are Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Kraken, OKEx, Poloniex, and Yandex.Money.
According to the NBU, Russian nationals have been using these platforms to circumvent Ukrainian sanctions. “Russian citizens and companies are barred from transferring funds through Ukrainian banks,” reads the letter. “We believe that the use of cryptocurrencies by individuals and legal entities from Russia for cross-border transactions would breach the sanctions regime.”
The exchanges have not yet commented on the matter.
This is not the first time that Ukraine has taken measures to prevent Russian nationals from circumventing its sanctions. In February, the country’s central bank blocked access to more than two dozen Russian websites that were offering cryptocurrency-related services.
Deeper Look Into Cryptocurrency:
The Binance Exchange is a leading cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017 in Hong Kong. It features a strong focus on altcoin trading. Binance offers crypto-to-crypto trading in more than 500 cryptocurrencies and virtual tokens, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and its own token Binance Coin (BNB). In 2018, it moved its company headquarters to Malta, EU, in response to China’s strict regulations on crypto exchange businesses.
Coinbase is an app that lets you buy and sell all sorts of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and about 50 others. You can also use Coinbase to convert one cryptocurrency to another, or to send and receive cryptocurrency to and from other people. Like stock trading apps you may already be familiar with, Coinbase shows you the current price and trends for cryptocurrencies, a look at your portfolio of holdings and news stories about the industry.
Bitstamp is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Luxembourg. It allows trading between fiat currency, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It allows USD, EUR, GBP, bitcoin, ALGO, XRP, Ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash, XLM, Link, OMG Network, USD Coin or PAX deposits and withdrawals
Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange owned and operated by iFinex Inc registered in the British Virgin Islands. Their customers’ money has been stolen or lost in several incidents, and they have been unable to secure normal banking relationships.
Kraken is a United States-based cryptocurrency exchange and bank, founded in 2011. The exchange provides trading between cryptocurrency and fiat currencies, and provides price information to Bloomberg Terminal.
OKX, formerly known as OKEx, is a Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading various cryptocurrencies. Some of the exchange’s core features include spot and derivative trading. It was founded in 2017. OKX is owned by Ok Group which also owns crypto exchange Okcoin
YooMoney branded as ЮMoney, formerly known as Yandex.Money, is Russia’s second largest electronic payment service after “Sberbank Online” according to a 2020 research by Mediascope. It is an online payment service that works with two types of clients — individual users and merchants.