Since Russia has been under economic sanctions from the West, many politicians fear that they will circumvent the sanctions by turning to cryptos like Bitcoin.
Some platforms have already banned Russian users, following the letter of instructions from the U.S. services, which have drawn up a list of people and territories to be restricted.
The United States has a very strict policy, reinforced since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Every company present on its territory must comply with it, or risk being sanctioned.
It is in this context that Coinbase, a famous cryptocurrency exchange platform headquartered in San Francisco in the USA, has spoken through its co-founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong on its official Twitter account.
1/ We’ve been seeing some questions/discussion around whether crypto can be used to avoid sanctions. A few thoughts…— Brian Armstrong – barmstrong.eth (@brian_armstrong) March 4, 2022
Brian Armstrong was keen to clarify things: no, Coinbase does not (for the moment) prohibit the use of the platform by any Russian person. On the other hand, it would have no choice but to follow the law.
In a thread there, he explains that it is wrong to believe that crypto companies will not follow the law.
“So it would be a mistake to think that crypto companies like Coinbase will not follow the law. Of course, we will. That’s why we screen people who sign up for our services against global watch lists, and block transactions from IP addresses belonging to sanctioned individuals or entities, just like any other regulated financial services company,” it reads.
At the same time, it confirms that it still advocates that every person on earth should have access to basic financial services. Likewise, he believes that the risk of circumventing sanctions with cryptos, for example with Bitcoin, is quite low since all transactions are on an open ledger, preventing the discreet transfer of large sums.
A crypto reporter summarized the information under Brian Armstrong’s Twitter thread about this:
“We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. But if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws. We don’t think there is a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions, it’s more traceable.”
Coinbase：We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. But if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws. We don’t think there’s a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions, it’s more traceable. https://t.co/mDyzAkQmN6— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) March 4, 2022
Once again, it is the centralized platforms that are targeted.
- Brian Armstrong’s official Twitter account https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong