Ukraine calls on cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze Russian accounts

Ukraine asks cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze Russian accounts - 1440x810 cmsv2 6021c483 2a46 5a4f b103 fefda90a8018 6044338After a series of sanctions against Russia last week, the Ukrainian government has relaunched with cryptocurrencies. In the most recent development of the Russia-Ukraine tensions, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's deputy prime minister and digital transformation minister, called on cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze the accounts of Russian and Belarusian users.

Call to action

Fedorov tweeted that he is "asking all major cryptocurrency exchanges to block the addresses of Russian users." Explaining further, he said it is "crucial to freeze not only addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage common users."

The minister posted his appeal via Twitter on February 27, after several days of intense fighting in Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the country last week. In response to this, DMarket, a digital goods company based in Ukraine tweeted to say:

"Ukrainian startup DMarket cuts all relations with Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine".

DMarket acts as an exchange to trade virtual items from any game to any platform, "connecting the entertainment industry with the global metaverse".

The firm acted quickly on Fedorov's request to freeze accounts belonging to clients in Russia and Belarus. The company confirmed via Twitter that while the assets remain in users' accounts, their access is restricted.

In response to the NFT platform's announcement, Fedorov tweeted that "funds from these (frozen) accounts could be donated to the war effort."

That said, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell responded by saying such a move could not be made "without a legal requirement to do so." However, he warned that Russian users should be aware that such an order "could be imminent".

Ukraine's efforts to sabotage the use of cryptography in Russia

The Ukrainian government has already used Twitter to attract millions in cryptocurrency donations. On February 26, Fedorov asked for support by announcing that the government would accept donations of Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). Meanwhile, more than $ 19 million worth of cryptocurrencies has been donated to the Ukrainian government from the government appeal on Friday.

That said, the government has also posted on online hacker forums that it is seeking help to protect itself from cyberattacks.

Furthermore, recently, the United States and the European Union have moved together to cut some Russian banks out of the SWIFT circuit, the international payment messaging system, as well as freeze the foreign assets of the central bank of Russia.