A list of crypto exchanges, including global platforms, have not introduced new restrictions on Russian users after the EU’s most recent sanctions round, Russian crypto media reported. The latest European penalties target an array of crypto-related services to increase pressure on Russia amid an escalating conflict in Ukraine.
Major Exchanges Continue to Work in Russia Following EU’s Ban on Crypto Services
The European Union adopted a wide range of sanctions last week, aiming to hit Russia’s government, economy, and trade harder. Along with other measures, the eighth package of EU restrictions banned the provision of all crypto wallet, account, or custody services to Russian residents and entities.
While some companies from the industry have quickly reacted and already suspended operations with Russian accounts, a number of crypto exchanges have not conformed to the European requirements yet, the crypto page of leading Russian business news portal RBC revealed in a report.
Among them is Binance, the world’s largest digital asset exchange by daily trading volume, which has not made an official statement regarding the new sanctions and continues to operate as usual, according to its support service. In early April, Binance limited services for account balances exceeding €10,000 ($11,000 at the time), as required by the EU’s fifth round of restrictions, which affected only “high-value” crypto services.
Another exchange that complies with the previous European crypto sanctions is Coinbase, the leading American crypto trading platform, while U.S.-based Kraken did not impose restrictions on Russians in the spring and has not announced any changes with regard to the new set of EU measures.
Crypto exchange FTX, which is registered in the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, has not imposed restrictions on users from the Russian Federation. The same applies to another platform that’s popular in Russia, Garantex, which continues to work with Russian traders.
Seychelles-registered Huobi Global, Okx, Kucoin, and Mexc Global have refrained from restricting Russian accounts in response to EU penalties, and Singapore-registered Bybit has told the publication it would not impose sanctions against Russians.
The U.K.-based crypto exchange Exmo, a regional leader in Eastern Europe and the countries in the former Soviet space, sold its Russian business to a local vendor in late April, along with the rights to the Exmo.me domain and branding. Exmo.me continues to facilitate crypto trading in Russia and its close partners, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Cryptocurrency has been viewed as a tool allowing Russians to export wealth and circumvent financial sanctions. The idea to legalize cross-border crypto payments has been gaining traction in Moscow and authorities there have been working to adopt regulations. According to a recent statement by the head of the parliamentary Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, the EU’s decision to tighten the crypto restrictions could potentially stimulate the development of Russia’s own market for digital assets.