CoinZoom, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Utah, has put a stop on new account applications from Russia owing to the country’s escalating war in Ukraine, according to the company’s chief executive officer.
While CoinZoom is a relatively unknown cryptocurrency exchange, it is one of the first to temporarily suspend new company operations in Russia.
So far, most crypto exchanges across the world have ignored the Ukraine government’s urgent pleas to exclude Russian users from their platforms.
While Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance have declared that they will comply with sanctions placed on Russia by a number of Western countries as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, they have also emphasised that they will not block Russian users unless it is necessary by law.
Because the world’s largest payment companies are currently withdrawing from Russia and ceasing operations and services in the country, CoinZoom decided to freeze new accounts from Russian users because it was unclear how they would fund them, according to the exchange’s Chief Executive Todd Crosland.
“It’s a very fluid situation in Russia right now and it’s very fluid with regulators, so being able to fund your account with a wire or a debit card, Mastercard, Visa — all of those funding mechanisms are being basically eliminated for Russian customers right now,” Crosland said in an interview.
According to Crosland, CoinZoom is not prohibiting existing Russian account holders from trading on the exchange, but it has stated that it is screening them in order to comply with sanctions lists.
Due to the brutal invasion of Ukraine, Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc, both located in the United States, announced on Saturday that their commercial activities in Russia will be halted.
Crypto exchanges have been chastised for refusing to remove Russian users from their platforms, particularly after Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked for the blocking of Russian clients’ digital wallet addresses last month.
According to Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, one of the key reasons the company would continue to operate in Russia is the “libertarian values” of cryptocurrencies.
A spokeswoman for Binance claimed in a statement that restricting cryptocurrency access “would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”
(Adapted from NDTV.com)