Dapper Labs is restricting Russian accounts from using its payment services, the company said this week.
The decision was made following sanctions imposed by the European Union on Thursday, targeting Russia and Russian nationals. Dapper, which specializes in NFT collectables, said it was directed to take action by its payment processing and stored value partner, which is subject to EU regulations.
“It is now prohibited to provide crypto-asset wallet, account, or custody services of any value to accounts with connections to Russia,” Dapper stated in a press release. “However, Dapper has not closed the accounts.”
Users impacted by the partial suspension will be unable to purchase, sell, or gift digital collectables across platforms such as UFC Strike, NBA Top Shot, and NFL All Day. They will also be unable to withdraw funds from their Dapper accounts or make purchases with existing balances.
However, users of Russian-linked accounts will still be able to access and view the NFTs they’ve purchased. The company emphasized that impacted users will maintain ownership of their assets, even if they can’t sell them.
“Regardless of this new regulation, any NFT previously purchased by an impacted user continues to belong to that user,” Dapper stated. “Any Moments you own and any Dapper Balance continue to be your property.”
While Dapper has inked deals with major American sports leagues, it’s also enabled the sale of collectables related to Russian fighters who’ve participated in the UFC, such as Khabib Nurmagomedov. The NFT with the highest floor price for sale on UFC Strike depicts one of Nurmagomedov’s victories, with a starting price of $3,700.
Dapper did not respond to requests for comment from Decrypt.
The EU sanctions represent an escalation from previous restrictions on crypto established in April. According to a press release from the EU, “existing prohibitions on crypto assets have been tightened” by banning services regardless of a wallet’s value, which was previously capped at €10,000.
Russia took steps to restrict crypto transactions this week too, blacklisting OKX, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, according to CoinGecko.
It’s likely that more web3 companies will follow suit with restrictions as a result of the new EU sanctions. That could potentially put businesses in a difficult position moving forward, as they balance the weight of regulatory compliance with a community that’s generally resistant to censorship.