Coinbase Cuts Off 25K Russian Wallets Over Allegations They’re Engaged In “Illicit Activity”

Despite CEO Brian Armstrong having just the other day implored the public not to judge the company too harshly for continuing to service its accounts in Russia, Coinbase has now gone and done just the opposite: shutting down 25K wallets belonging to Russian customers due to suspicions about “illicit activity.”

Previously, Armstrong had vehemently insisted during a series of tweets that he wouldn’t deny anyone access to their Coinbase accounts for no good reason. Now, he’s apparently going back on his word to target a sizable portion of the company’s customers in Russia.

Fortunately for their investors, this move won’t have a big impact on Coinbase’s profits: The blocked addresses represent about 0.2% of Coinbase’s 11.4 million monthly transacting users, based on 2021 data.

In a company blog post, Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, announced that the largest US crypto exchange had banned access for sanctioned individuals. Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase said it had blocked over 25K wallet addresses related to Russian individuals or entities that it believes to be engaging in illicit activity.

The leaders of Coinbase and Binance have said they will comply with government mandates to restrict sanctioned individuals, but won’t ban all Russian users. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s Chief Executive Officer, earlier said some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a “lifeline now that their currency has collapsed.”

Major crypto exchanges including Coinbase and Binance have said they will comply with government mandates to restrict sanctioned individuals, but won’t ban all Russian users. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s Chief Executive Officer, earlier said some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a “lifeline now that their currency has collapsed.”

CEO Armstrong said earlier this month that Coinbase wouldn’t act against individual Russians unless sanctions specifically instructed them to do so. The exact protocol for determining which accounts may be engaged in illicit acts simply weren’t made clear.

Read further at ZeroHedge

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