In the context of a global corporate boycott of Russian citizens due to the military conflict in Ukraine, some companies operating in the cryptocurrency industry are defending the rights of Russian citizens who are not subject to sanctions.
Bitfinex, a subsidiary of the world’s largest stackcoin provider Tether (USDT), will not unilaterally freeze the accounts of ordinary Russian customers as part of global sanctions unless forced to do so, a Bitfinex spokesman told Cointelegraph on Thursday.
The spokesperson confirmed that Bitfinex has taken appropriate action against Russian user accounts that have been sanctioned. “As is the case with all our client accounts, we work to ensure that there are no illegal movements or activities that could violate current international sanctions,” the spokesman said.
According to Bitfinex, it may not be humanly fair to ban all ordinary Russians because of the ongoing conflict, since the actions of the authorities may not speak for individuals, as one spokesperson said:
We believe that the actions of the authorities do not necessarily reflect the wishes of individuals. Unless otherwise ordered by the regulators who control us, we want to protect the accounts of all our customers. ”
The representative declined to comment on the Bitfinex market in Russia, saying only that “Bitfinex caters to Russian customers.”
Launched in 2012, Bitfinex is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, with a daily trading volume of over $ 800 million at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko. The Virgin Islands cryptocurrency exchange is notorious for being the subject of legal action by US regulators, with Bitfinex and Tether paying a $ 43 million fine for violating the US Commodity Exchange Act in October 2021.
On the subject: Finance ministers say the EU “takes action” against Russia, which uses cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions
Bitfinex is not the only cryptocurrency exchange that wants to continue to support ordinary Russians in the midst of ongoing global geopolitical problems. Michael Carter, director of compliance at Bittrex, told Cointelegraph that the cryptocurrency exchange is committed to ensuring compliance with sanctions while creating “minimal disruption for law-abiding traders”, including in Russia. Exmo also continues to support its Russian customers.
“We will not fine ordinary people and close their accounts,” said Maria Stankevich, head of business development at Exmo. But the stock market should comply if the British financial authorities give them an order to punish ordinary people, she admitted.