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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: Crypto Is A Lifeline for Ordinary Russians

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has recently highlighted the reason why Coinbase hasn’t complied with Ukraine’s government request for exchanges to block Russian citizens.

Since Russia’s Army invasion began, Ukraine has received massive support from the crypto community through donations in crypto worth millions of dollars.

Recall that Ukraine, through its Vice-Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, asked crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian and Belarusian politicians, including ordinary users.

Read Also: Ethereum (ETH) Donations to Ukraine’s Government Rapidly Increase after Airdrop Announcement

Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted, “I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.”

Some major crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, found the request too costly since many ordinary Russians are clearly against Putin’s action. Lots of Russians claimed that the President is only representing his personal interest and not that of the citizens of Russia.

Crypto is a Lifeline for Ordinary Russians

Coinbase Chief Executive Brian Armstrong, took to Twitter to explain why the exchange refused to act on Ukraine’s Government request and why it’s nearly impossible to circumvent sanctions using crypto.

In the thread of tweets, he explained that every US-based company is under obligation to follow the law irrespective of the form of currency handled by the company.

Brian Armstrong noted:

“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.”

“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 belong to sanctioned individuals or entities, just like any other regulated financial services business.”

Read Also: Russian Invades Ukraine, Ethereum Co-Founder Tweets in Russian: “This is a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people”

Armstrong further stated that it’s nearly impossible for Russian oligarchs to use crypto to evade sanctions because it’s easier to trace huge transactions of crypto than when U.S Dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets are involved.

Most importantly, he said crypto has been serving as a lifeline for ordinary Russians due to the collapse of their currency. He pointed out that many of them are obviously not happy with what is currently happening in Ukraine. So, blocking their addresses would hurt them.

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However, Armstrong made it clear that if the United States government decides to impose a ban, Coinbase will not hesitate to comply.

Brian Armstrong tweeted, “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.”


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Tobi Loba
Tobi Loba
Tobi Loba is a passionate writer with a vast interest in the stock market. She joined the crypto ecosystem about three years ago and has written lots of ebooks and articles in relation to cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. Tobi Loba earned her degree at the University of Ibadan.
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