South Korean Crypto Exchanges Restrict Russians’ Access Over War in Ukraine – Major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea have imposed restrictions on Russian users, effectively adopting Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s military invasion of Ukraine. Blocking IP addresses from the Russian Federation is one of the measures.
Several cryptocurrency trading platforms in South Korea, including the country’s largest, are blocking access from Russian IP addresses, according to the Yonhap news agency. Upbit, Korea’s largest digital asset exchange, has stated that it may refuse withdrawal requests from Russia.
It went on to say:
“In accordance with the Financial Action Task Force’s rules, we’ve restricted subscriptions from users in countries with a high risk of money laundering.”
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Korbit, Bithumb, and Gopax have all restricted Russian IP addresses, according to the report. On Wednesday, the latter froze 20 accounts opened by Russian users.
South Korea’s tight restrictions come as the US and its allies continue to impose sanctions on Russia, including export controls and the expulsion of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank payments system.
Meanwhile, as Russia becomes more isolated from the global banking system, fears that it would use cryptocurrencies to avoid western sanctions have risen. Members of the G7 and the European Union have been striving to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions by utilizing digital assets.
Ukraine has urged cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze all Russian accounts, but has been unable to persuade major global platforms such as Kraken and Binance to do so. The Ukrainian government has also been seeking to reveal crypto wallets used by Russian and Belarus politicians.
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At the same time, the Ukrainian government has been actively seeking cryptocurrency donations to help fund its defensive efforts. The country has already raised tens of millions of dollars in crypto in multiple currencies, including from non-governmental organizations.
The international crypto community has reacted to the issue by donating money to humanitarian causes. Binance, the world’s largest exchange, has contributed $10 million in addition to supporting third-party aid via crowdfunding.