Cryptos Cautious, As Ukraine Asks Exchanges to Block Russian Users

Calls for Russia Crypto-Block

Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, asked on Sunday via a twitter, "all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users". [1] He also said that "It's crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users".

Ukrainian-born startup DMarket announced that it "cuts all relationships with Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine." [2]

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, replied to Mr Fedorov's tweet, noting that his firm "cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so." [3]

The Wall Street Journal reported that Binance was working on taking action against those who have been sanctioned by Western countries, citing a Binance spokesperson [4]. Reuters today reported that the Crypto exchange, that it has no plan to unilaterally block accounts in Russia, based on comment by a Binance representative [5].

Ramping Up Sanctions

Western countries have been taking more measures against Russia for the attack in Ukraine, with the European Union announcing on Sunday, that important Russian banks will be excluded from the SWIFT global payment system [6]. The sanctions package will also ban the transactions of Russia's central bank and freeze all its assets.

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Apart from those financial actions, the EU is shutting down the EU airspace for Russians and will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to Ukraine.

Crypto Reaction

FXCM's CryproMajor Basket is on the back foot today as investors monitor the war in Ukraine - which has entered its fifth day – and all related news around the situation. Similarly BTC/USD trades in negative territory, but covers much of the initial gap down.

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Market Specialist

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 28 Feb 2022 https://twitter.com/FedorovMykhailo/status/1497922588491792386

2

Retrieved 28 Feb 2022 https://twitter.com/dmarket/status/1497952451726565383

3

Retrieved 28 Feb 2022 https://twitter.com/jespow/status/1498112741684363265

4

Retrieved 28 Feb 2022 https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-02-26/card/crypto-exchange-binance-says-it-is-taking-steps-against-sanction-targets-P8TSn40r41XhFvMaXsEi

5

Retrieved 28 Feb 2022 https://www.reuters.com/technology/crypto-exchange-binance-says-it-wont-unilaterally-freeze-accounts-russia-2022-02-28/

6

Retrieved 25 Jun 2022 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_1441

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