Kraken Crypto Exchange Terminates Accounts of Russian Users

Kraken Crypto Exchange Terminates Accounts of Russian Users

In a bid to comply with the European Union’s sanctions on Russia, major crypto exchange Kraken has unveiled its move to restrict and eventually shut down services for Russian accounts. The latest development follows the adoption of new Brussels-led penalties in response to Moscow’s continued aggression against Ukraine.

“Due to the new European legislation, we have to take measures to restrict your Kraken account. We will update our support center if there are any changes. We apologize for the inconvenience caused,” the firm said in a letter addressed to its users, obtained by financial news site.
“Since the EU’s announcement, we have been working to make the changes needed to comply with the latest package of sanctions against Russia,” according to the statement.

At the same time, Kraken recognized that it will enable its Russian customers to withdraw funds from their accounts. The company did not, however, disclose what would be the deadline for such withdrawals.

The European Commission has required crypto exchanges to stop providing digital asset-related services to Russian customers as part of its eighth package of sanctions on the country’s economy.

Prior to the introduction of these restrictions, Europe-based crypto businesses were allowed to process payments of up to €10,000 ($) for Russia’s inhabitants and entities.

Shortly after Russia launched its invasion on February 24, Kraken’s leadership predicted that industry players could be soon required to freeze the accounts of their Russian customers.

“I understand the rationale for this request but, despite my deep respect for the Ukrainian people, [Kraken] cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so,” Jesse Powell, the exchange’s CEO, said in a tweet.

“Russians should be aware that such a requirement could be imminent,” he added.

At that time, Kraken’s chief executive was r sponding to a request put forward by Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov who called on the world’s leading crypto exchanges to block Russian users from using their services.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kraken has unveiled a number of initiatives to support its Ukrainian customers. On March 9, the company announced it distributed some $1,000 in bitcoin (BTC) to all Ukrainian accounts.

“As part of the effort, Kraken also donated the total trading fees paid by Russia-based clients in the first half of 2022 to the aid package, helping those affected by the war to purchase critical supplies and get themselves and their families to safety,” the business said in a statement.

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