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The Weekly Crypto Digest: Russia, Ukraine and Iranians off OpenSea

By Imogen Smith
March 7, 2022 0

Coinbase and Binance resist calls to remove Russian users from platform

Two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Binance, rejected calls to enact a blanket ban on all Russian users as a way to minimise cryptocurrency platforms being used as a loophole to Western sanctions. “We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts,” a spokesperson of Binance said to Reuters. Both exchanges, however, have expressed their compliance to such an overarching ban if the US government were to impose one.

OpenSea bans users in Iran

NFT marketplace OpenSea has blocked users based in Iran, according to the reports of multiple users on Twitter who have recently been unable to access the site. OpenSea revealed to Decrypt that the platform “blocks users and territories on the US sanctions list from using our services – including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea – and our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit sanctioned users or users in sanctioned territories from using our services.” A number of Iranian users have reported the issue, with three of whom revealed they were unable to use the marketplace whilst in Iran.

Ukraine announcing NFTs after failed airdrop

Ukraine’s Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov announced the cancellation of a highly anticipated global airdrop event over Twitter: “after careful consideration, we decided to cancel airdrop. Every day there are more and more people willing to help Ukraine to fight back the aggression.” While the reasoning for the cancellation remains unclear, Fedorov said the country will soon announce NFTs to support Ukrainian armed forces and that the nation has no plans to issue fungible tokens.

US Treasury warns crypto companies to ‘stay vigilant against Russia’

The US Treasury Department has extended warnings to cryptocurrency companies regarding their cyber security amid concerns about Russia’s possible retaliatory cyber-attacks in response to Western sanctions. It is encouraged that companies and crypto exchanges increase monitoring, scenario planning and line up extra staff.


Imogen Smith

Imogen is a journalist for CryptoVista reporting on the complexities of the digital currency space and its latest news from around the world.

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