Change of Heart: Kraken Closes Accounts for all Russian Users

The US-based cryptocurrency exchange – Kraken – joined the list of platforms restricting services to Russian consumers. The decision comes as a result of the latest sanctions that the European Union (EU) imposed on the largest country by landmass for its invasion of Ukraine.

Other trading venues that have already ended ties with Russian users include BlockchainCom, CryptoCom, and more.

  • Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, which started in February, caused the Western world to strike back. Numerous countries imposed financial and economic sanctions on the aggressor to try to make it back off, but with little-to-no success so far.
  • The cryptocurrency industry was also involved in more ways than one, including several companies having to stop servicing Russian clients.
  • Initially, the California-based exchange Kraken refused to follow suit. Several months ago, its former CEO – Jesse Powell – argued that “bitcoin is the embodiment of libertarian values,” and as such, the firm will not curb Russian users without “a legal requirement to do so.”
  • Earlier this month, though, the situation changed when the EU slammed Russia with another package of sanctions. These included outlawing all cryptocurrency transactions between Russians and European wallet providers, which prompted Kraken’s U-turn.
  • In a recent email, the company informed it will close accounts for all Russian clients. However, they will be able to withdraw their funds.

“We will update our support center if there are any changes. We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” Kraken added.

  • Some of the exchange’s competitors, such as CryptoCom and BlockchainCom, have also blocked the accounts of Russians after the EU’s latest sanctions.
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