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Since the invasion, Ukraine has seen considerable crowdfunding through the crypto marketplace. Meanwhile, speculations on Russian authority and specific individuals diverting to cryptocurrency to sabotage sanctions persist.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has the CEO of Circle Jeremy Allaire referring to crypto as a “double-edged sword” as digital assets become critical survival and “defense” mechanisms to both countries, respectively. The war does not seem to be coming to an end as Russia intensifies attacks. There have been numerous statements and suggestions, and Allaire is no exception. The executive has expressed his concerns about crypto and its power in times like this.
Circle CEO Refers to Crypto as a ‘Double-Edged Sword’ as War Tension Persists between Russia and Ukraine
Since the invasion, Ukraine has seen considerable crowdfunding through the crypto marketplace. Meanwhile, speculations on Russian authority and specific individuals diverting to cryptocurrency to sabotage sanctions persist. The Circle CEO commented on the role of crypto as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues:
“People are celebrating that. But it also allows people to evade things. The open internet is a double-edged sword, and that is the case with crypto.”
In support of Ukraine, many have called for the freezing of all Russian-government-related crypto accounts. While speaking, Allaire said that crypto platforms do not have all the required information to step into the situation with Russia and Ukraine. This is despite tracking high-risk activities identified on exchanges and flagging suspicious activity to regulators.
Considering economic sanctions on Russia, crypto may become the country’s last resort. Although, there has been no proof of activities. Some experts also argue that these claims are unfounded. Meanwhile, there were speculations that Russia may use cryptocurrencies to dodge global financial sanctions. For a fact, Russia bypassing sanctions with crypto is still mere speculation.
Crypto Platforms’ Stance on Current War
Ukraine Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov requested that digital asset platforms block Russian users when responding to the defense possibility. As this may be in Ukraine’s defense and backing, it could also be trampling the rights of other Russians who are not supporters of the war.
However, Binance revealed that it would not terminate its services to Russian users. Its spokesperson said, “We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts,” Specifically, the exchange promised to “take actions against those that have had sanctions levied against them while minimizing impact to innocent users.”
In addition, KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said:
“As a neutral platform, we will not freeze the accounts of any users from any country without a legal requirement. And at this difficult time, actions that increase the tension to impact the rights of innocent people should not be encouraged.”
So far, of all these platforms, only Unicorn Animoca, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming and NFT platform, has assented to the request.
Since NATO and EU sanctions, the Ruble is valued less in the exchange market. A Ruble is now less than a US cent. According to data tracked by crypto research provider Kaiko, Bitcoin trading volumes against the Ruble climbed to the highest level since May 2021.