Coinbase reported that it has blacklisted 25,000 addresses associated with Russian persons or organisations that it believes are involved in illegal conduct. The exchange stated in a statement that owing to the modest scale of the bitcoin industry, Russia would hesitate to use virtual assets to avoid sanctions.
Sanctions, according to the firm’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, “play a significant role in boosting national security”. He described how the exchange prevents sanctioned persons and companies from using Coinbase by scrutinising account applications and limiting access to IP addresses in sanctioned nations. In reaction to Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine, the US and other nations across the globe have slapped harsh sanctions on the country in recent days.
Some cryptocurrency observers believe the sanctions will drive the Russian government and elites associated with President Vladimir Putin to seek refuge in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Grewal, on the other hand, disagreed, citing the Bank of Russia’s $630 billion in reserve assets. Btc is the only virtual currency asset worth more than $630 billion today, accounting for more than one-third of crypto’s $1.8 trillion market capitalization.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated that he does not anticipate Russian oligarchs embracing cryptocurrency anytime soon. Coinbase and other large exchanges have faced requests to restrict Russian customers in recent days as other corporations across the world cut relations with the country, but most of the industry’s top players have so far resisted the pressure.