Following the European Union’s (EU) fifth sanctions package against Russia, Binance has begun taking “restrictive measures” against Russian users and entities.
Russian users with accounts holding more than €10,000 (~$10,900] in cryptocurrencies will face the brunt of these measures.
If an account falls into this category, it “will be put into withdraw-only mode,” read Binance’s announcement.
This means that these accounts will not be able to deposit any funds, and users will be expected to close their accounts within 90 days.
Users must also verify their home address to comply with Binance’s new ruling. Accounts with less than €10,000 “will remain unaffected and active,” the announcement continued.
The EU announced its latest sanctions package on April 8. It included crypto wallets with ties to Russia as a means of “closing potential loopholes” in the broader suite of sanctions against Russia amid its weeks-long invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Today’s announcement also comes just a day after the United States government levied sanctions on the Bitcoin mining firm BitRiver and many of its subsidiaries.
This is the first time the U.S has ever sanctioned a crypto mining company.
Crypto’s role in Russia's invasion
Censorship-resistant cryptocurrencies have become a key talking point as the global community attempts to limit Russia's access to the world’s financial network.
According to experts, however, attempting to pitch up the entire Russian economy with cryptocurrencies would be difficult.
Elliptic's Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs David Carlisle told Decrypt that, "cryptocurrencies can’t facilitate the large-scale sanctions evasion Russia will require to completely plug the gap it faces from severe sanctions." He added that, "The total assets of the Russian banks subject to U.S. sanctions is approximately equivalent to the entire market cap of crypto. Crypto simply can’t absorb the scale of transactions Russia needs to operate fully outside the scope of these restrictions."
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