Today in Crypto: Coinbase Blocks 25,000 Russian-Linked Addresses; Coinbase Adds ‘Experimental’ Label


Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has blocked more than 25,000 wallet addresses linked to illicit activities by Russian individuals or entities, a Bloomberg report said Monday (March 7).

The blocked addresses are around 0.2% of Coinbase’s 11.4 million monthly transacting users.

Paul Grewal, chief legal officer for Coinbase, said the exchange has banned access in support of sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, Coinbase blocks over 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals or entities we believe to be engaging in illicit activity, many of which we have identified through our own proactive investigations,” Grewal wrote. “We shared them with the government to further support sanctions enforcement.”

Elsewhere, Ukrainian weapons suppliers have been taking payments directly in crypto, according to a Coindesk report on Monday.

Ukraine has “weaponized” crypto after Russia’s invasion at the end of February. Thus far it has raised more than $60 million in bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies.

It’s spent some of that on fuel, food and other supplies like bulletproof vests for soldiers.

The de facto crypto ministry, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, will be buying military equipment based on the Ministry of Defense’s demands.

Meanwhile, FTX has launched a European equivalent to its FTX.US exchange in Cyprus, Coindesk reported.

The European domain of the platform has now gotten approval from the Cyprus financial market regulator CySEC, according to the exchange on Monday.

FTX Europe plans to offer products and services across the European Economic Area through an unidentified investment firm, which is licensed to operate in the region.

The division will be headquartered in Switzerland.

Finally, Coinbase has also rolled out an “experimental” label to apply to new assets on the platform or those that have lower trading volumes, Coindesk reported Monday.

Coinbase has been expanding its offerings and that has meant new assets as well as new risks.

According to product manager Ishan Wahi, the crypto exchange wants to be transparent with users about the risks with various assets.