Kraken CEO Explains Why He Won't Freeze Russian Users' Crypto Accounts

Zinger Key Points
  • The Kraken CEO’s comments were directed at a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation.
  • Fedorov called on all major crypto exchanges to block the wallet addresses of Russian users regardless of whether they are politicians or regular citizens.
Kraken CEO Explains Why He Won't Freeze Russian Users' Crypto Accounts

Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, said that the platform would not freeze the accounts of clients based in Russia without a legal requirement to do so.

What Happened: In a series of tweets on Monday, Powell said that while he understands the rationale behind the request to freeze these accounts, the crypto exchange would not be barring its Russian users from trading.

“Besides, if we were going to voluntarily freeze financial accounts of residents of countries unjustly attacking and provoking violence around the world, step 1 would be to freeze all US accounts. As a practical matter, that's not really a viable business option for us,” said Powell.

The Kraken CEO’s comments were directed at a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation.

Fedorov called on all major crypto exchanges to block the wallet addresses of Russian users regardless of whether they are politicians or regular citizens.

So far, only one Ukraine-based digital asset startup has proceeded to cut all relationships with Russia and Belarus. DMarket announced earlier today that it had frozen accounts of all previously registered users from that area.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, went on record to state that it has no plans of unilaterally freezing accounts in Russia.

 

"We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users' accounts. 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,” said a Binance spokesperson to CoinDesk.

 

Following a public appeal for crypto donations after the Russian invasion, Ukraine has raised close to $11 million in Bitcoin BTC/USD and Ethereum ETH/USD in just two days.

 

Price Action:  Bitcoin is down 3.04% in the last 24 hours, trading at a price of $38,260. Ethereum was trading at $2,600, down 6.5% over the same period.

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