The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, clears some doubt regarding Russia using cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions in his recent tweet on 4th March. Brian tweets, “We’ve been seeing some questions/discussion around whether crypto can be used to avoid sanctions. A few thoughts…”. Later in the thread, he explains his company’s future policies on Russian accounts.
As Russia and Ukraine war doesn’t seem to come to an end rather, the situation is worsening with every passing day, the financial stability of both countries is crashing down. Recently the value of the ruble, Russian currency, has dropped by 20%. This is leading to concern the rich brats of the country, the top-most population of Russia. The oligarchy has only got one solution for their money laundering which is to use cryptocurrency.
Brian’s tweets can help you understand his concerns better.
8/ Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) March 4, 2022
Coinbase is the platform that operates a cryptocurrency exchange where one can sell, buy BTC (bitcoin) and other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin. Coinbase is one of the biggest platforms for cryptocurrencies. In the tweet, Brian explains how Coinbase has to go with the US sanction policies. The tweet reads, ” Every US company has to follow the law – it doesn’t matter if your company handles dollars, crypto, gold, real estate or even non financial assets. Sanctions laws apply to all US people and businesses”. He adds, “So it would be a mistake to think crypto businesses like Coinbase won’t follow the law. Of course we will. This is why we screen people who sign up for our services against global watchlists, and block transactions from IP addresses that might…”.
However, Armstrong also knows that using crypto to avoid sanctions is not a very smart idea because cryptocurrency holds information and anyone can take out any information of any account quite easily, but Coinbase has to follow rules by the government if they demand to put restrictions on Russian accounts so they will. Adding to the tweet, “Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.”. Armstrong, who co-founded Coinbase—the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange company —in 2012 has a history of remaining neutral when it comes to taking a political stance.
It is not just Coinbase that is restricting Russian accounts. Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency transaction platforms has also put barriers on Russian accounts lately.