Coinbase Blocks 25,000 Addresses Linked to Russian Individuals, Business Entities

Details of all the 25,000 odd flagged Russian accounts are said to have been shared with the US government.

Coinbase Blocks 25,000 Addresses Linked to Russian Individuals, Business Entities

Photo Credit: Coinbase

The blocked Russian addresses are believed to be tied to illicit activity

  • Government fear that Russia might use crypto to sidestep sanctions
  • The platform has agreed to "support sanctions enforcement"
  • Coinbase is against a unilateral ban on crypto for Russian IPs

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world, has said it has blocked over 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals or entities believed to be engaged in illicit activity. Coinbase and a number of other big-name global crypto companies like Binance and Kraken have abstained from blocking crypto accounts that belong to the citizens of Russia. The international crypto-exchange platform claims that if a unilateral ban on Russian accounts is imposed, innocent Russian investors would have to suffer the consequences during testing times.

The global crypto exchange platform in a recent blog post stated that it is dedicated to complying with sanctions and, as a result, is developing a multi-layered, worldwide sanctions program. The company, in particular, said that it has blocked over 25,000 Russian addresses that they think are linked to Russian individuals or enterprises engaging in criminal activities.

The company went on to claim that they've shared these addresses with the US government to “support sanctions enforcement.”The post once again reiterated that the exchange is “committed to complying with sanctions.”

"During onboarding, Coinbase checks account applications against lists of sanctioned individuals or entities, including those maintained by the US, UK, European Union, United Nations, Singapore, Canada, and Japan," writes Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer.

"To open a Coinbase account, individuals and entities must provide identifying information, including their name and country of residence. We screen this information via an independent vendor before permitting an individual to transact," he adds.

The business also underlined that the transactions are public, providing clear insight into transaction data, traceable, and permanent, so once recorded on the blockchain, transactions stay immutable, preventing bad actors from withholding information to evade detection.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong shares a similar sentiment. He tweeted Friday saying, "We don't think there's a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions. Because it is an open ledger, trying to sneak lots of money through crypto would be more traceable than using U.S. dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets."

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