Binance, OKX Reject Calls to Ban Russian Crypto Transactions

Russia, cryptocurrency

Not every financial sector has joined the movement to shut out Russia since its invasion of the Ukraine last week, The Financial Times reported Tuesday (March 1).

Trading between the Russian ruble and bitcoin and tether has doubled since the offensive began. It reached $60 million a day on Monday (Feb. 28), according to crypto research firm Chainalysis.

The data suggests Russian account holders that have been banned from the dollar-based financial sector through sanctions are stockpiling funds in crypto or moving cash overseas.

On Sunday (Feb. 27), Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted that major crypto exchanges should block Russian users’ addresses. He said the move is crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarus politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary customers.

While most big exchanges have said they will comply, others have pushed back.

See more: Today in Crypto: Binance, Kraken Refuse Ukraine’s Request to Freeze Crypto Accounts; Goldman Execs Leave Banking for Crypto Firms

Binance, one of the biggest exchanges by volume, has said that it does not have plans to block Russian crypto addresses.

“To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists,” said Cayman Islands-registered Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges.

OKX, the Seychelles-based company near the east coast of Africa, also said it had no plans to bar Russian accounts.

In the latest rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government said this week that it plans to pass legislation designed to curb laundering of “dirty money” that has been used to support the war.

See also: UK Moves to Curb ‘Dirty Money’ for War in Ukraine

In a post on LinkedIn, U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss wrote: “There will be nowhere left to hide for the super-rich linked to Putin’s regime.”