‘Russians trying to evade sanctions, not a crypto-centric issue’ – Binance CEO

Sahana Kiran
Source – Unsplash

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Russians have been paying a price for their President’s actions. The invasion of Ukraine was highly condemned by countries across the globe. Governments decided to display their frustration with Russia and support towards Ukraine by imposing immense sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s government. Crypto gradually became a part of this. Officials of different nations feared that people would use crypto to evade sanctions put forth by them. Here’s what Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance had to say about all this.

CZ outrightly suggested that Russians that were trying to circumvent financial sanctions wasn’t a “crypto-specific issue.” Exchanges from all around the world were urged to freeze the accounts of Russian users. Most of them were against this as it wasn’t fair to the civilians and wasn’t what crypto stood for.

Nevertheless, those sanctioned by governments across the globe were restricted from engaging in crypto activities. Yet, further expansion of this was highly unlikely. Zhao noted that this was “unethical” for the exchanges to carry out. He added,

“It’s not our decision to make to freeze user accounts. Facebook hasn’t banned Russian users. Google has not blocked off Russia. The U.S. hasn’t done that. Also, on an ethical point of view, many Russians don’t support the war, so we should separate the politicians from the normal people.”

Crypto platforms, according to the CEO, follow the same standards as banks. As a result, sanctioned users would be excluded from the platform. Those who aren’t on this list, on the other hand, can continue to use Binance.

Russians and Ukrainians seek shelter at Binance

As per data curated by Arcane Research, it was revealed that the activity on Binance particularly from Ukraine and Russia witnessed a massive surge during the war. It further looked like the citizens of these countries were pouring their funds into the exchange as unrest persisted.

Crypto during the Russia-Ukraine war

Cryptocurrencies have been widely employed during the war. Ukraine has been accepting and receiving donations in crypto from across the world. While the government was initially accepting only Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether, Polkadot was the latest one to join the list.

Following this, an airdrop was put in place which further allowed the country to receive $7 million worth of donations.