Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has condemned the Biden administration for not taking stricter action to lock down Russians’ access to cryptocurrency markets.
What Happened: Speaking with MSNBC on Tuesday, Clinton stressed the importance of putting financial pressure on Putin and not allowing Russian citizens a way to escape the implications of the existing sanctions that have been imposed on the nation.
“I was disappointed to see that some of the so-called crypto exchanges, not all of them but some of them, are refusing to end transactions with Russia for some, I don't know, philosophy of libertarianism or whatever,” said Clinton.
Earlier this week, Jesse Powell, the CEO of major U.S crypto exchange Kraken, explained that he saw no reason to freeze the accounts of clients based in Russia without a legal requirement to do so.
“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 U.S. accounts. As a practical matter, that's not really a viable business option for us,” he said.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, echoed these sentiments and stated it had no plans to unilaterally freeze accounts in Russia.
Meanwhile, trading volumes between the Russian ruble and Bitcoin BTC/USD reached a nine-month high of 1.5 billion RUB last Thursday.
Yesterday, the volume of #Tether traded into the Russian Ruble broke all time highs.— Clara Medalie (@Clara_Medalie) March 1, 2022
The majority of this volume is concentrated on #Binance, which just announced they will not block Russian users. pic.twitter.com/09xFLfaKKf
Ruble-denominated volume for U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin Tether USDT/USD broke all-time highs and was nearly twice as high as the volume for Bitcoin.
“With the Ruble dropping to all-time lows versus the U.S. Dollar and international sanctions coming into effect, we could expect the appeal of USD-pegged stablecoins like Tether to increase, which lack the volatility of riskier assets like Bitcoin,” wrote Kaiko analyst Clara Medalie on Twitter.
Price Action: At press time, Bitcoin was trading at $43,601, down 2.24% in the last 24 hours.
Photo: Courtesy of Keith Kissel on Flickr
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