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Crypto.Com and Blockchain.Com Move to Block Russian Accounts Following EU Sanctions

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Exchanges Crypto.com and Blockchain.com notify Russian users of account restrictions in response to recent EU sanctions.

Due to its sustained attacks on Ukraine, Russia has been at the receiving end of Western sanctions imposed on the transcontinental country to dissuade its actions.

The latest batch involved a restriction of Russian digital asset wallets to check Russian usage of cryptocurrencies as the citizens seek to circumvent previously imposed sanctions. Following this latest batch, exchanges Crypto.com and Blockchain.com are two of the latest entities to comply.

Blockchain.com notified its Russia-based users of an imminent restriction on their accounts via an email, as first reported by The Block. According to the email, the Luxembourg-headquartered exchange has suspended its custodial and rewards offerings to its Russian customers.

Blockchain.com gave all potentially affected customers till October 27 to pull out their funds in the respective areas before an eventual imposition of the restriction. Affected customers have already been restricted from accruing any more rewards as of press time.

According to Blockchain.com, the decision is in compliance with the recently-introduced batch of sanctions from the European Union against Russian nationals concerning digital asset wallets.

Similarly, Singapore-based exchange Crypto.com has complied with the latest EU sanctions. Notwithstanding, Crypto.com appears to have taken a harsher approach. The exchange has already placed a restriction on Russian wallets, per information from emails dated October 14.

The emails received by affected Russian nationals from Crypto.com provide no instructions on funds withdrawals before the implementation of the restriction. 

Recall that the European Union launched its eighth sanctions on Russia on October 6, as previously reported. The sanctions tightened several economic restrictions and completely banned Russian digital asset wallets. Previous sanctions had limited crypto holdings to €10,000 for Russian wallets.

The sanctions were an attempt by the EU to ensure that Russia does not circumvent economic sanctions in traditional finance by leveraging cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Notwithstanding, Russia’s CBDC plans remain underway.

Following reports of the latest sanctions, Canada-based blockchain entity Dapper Labs enforced restrictions on Russian wallets, citing compliance with the EU sanctions. The platform froze assets stored in Russian wallets on October 7 – a day after the EU introduced the sanctions.

Crypto.com and Blockchain.com are the latest to comply with EU sanctions.

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