Crypto: Kraken in turn blocks Russian users

In March, Jesse Powell, the former CEO of Kraken, said the US exchange would only ban Russian accounts if required by law. A few days ago, the European Union (EU) published a list of new sanctions against Russia. These are forcing crypto exchanges to adopt tougher restrictions on accounts held by Russian users. Kraken, who until then had been resisting, had to comply with the new demands of the authorities.

Kraken closes its doors to Russian crypto users

Crypto exchange Kraken now restricts Russian accounts in line with European Union sanctions. The information was given by multiple media of the crypto press, which rely on emails sent to Russian customers of the platform. Emails written in Russian that journalists could read. While it is difficult to pinpoint the extent of the restrictions, several local sources have indicated that the only functionality available to Russian account holders is related to cash withdrawals. At the same time, we learn that some users have not yet experienced any restriction on their accounts.

Kraken did not specify whether there was a time limit for withdrawing the funds for Russian citizens.

Russian users will no longer be able to access the Kraken exchange

“Kraken complies with legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions in which we operate. Since the EU announcement, we have been working to make the necessary changes to comply with the latest wave of sanctions against Russia”said a spokesperson for the crypto firm.

Some exchanges are dragging their feet

Kraken stands out from the stock exchanges that were resisting the application of sanctions against Russia. In this group, we find among others Binance and FTX, Huobi Global, OKX, Kucoin, etc. It should be noted, however, that Binance had applied the measures of the fifth round of EU restrictions. These did not affect high-value crypto services. Last week, and began enforcing restrictions on these accounts, per guidelines.

The sanctions impose a blanket ban on crypto transactions and payments between regulated companies in Europe and Russian users. The measures also apply to NFT marketplaces. Dapper Labs recently froze the NFTs of accounts with ties to Russia.

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