Popular digital currency trading platform Kraken has announced it is cutting off all business with Russian customers, and the country will not be able to take advantage of its digital currency services.
Kraken Ends All Russia-Based Services
The big question to ask here is, “What the heck happened?” Back in March of this year, Kraken said that it was going to be one of the few digital currency exchanges that would not comply with present U.S. sanctions, and it wouldn’t cut off its Russian customers. Why the sudden change of heart, and what is Kraken trying to accomplish with such a vast alteration to its operations?
Russia has gotten a bad rap over the last several months. The world believes it witnessed the country full-on invading its neighbor Ukraine, and many people and politicians aren’t too happy about that. As a result, the nation has faced several sanctions, and many businesses are no longer willing to offer their products or services to the region.
But when it comes to crypto, the situation appeared to be different. Many digital exchanges – such as Coinbase – argued that while certain Russian oligarchs should likely be cut off permanently, the Russian people had little to nothing to do with the present economic and political turmoil that Europe was experiencing, and thus cutting them off and ensuring they were unable to trade crypto wouldn’t accomplish anything in the greater scope.
In addition, the Russian ruble experienced many heavy drops during the early portions of the year, and crypto exchanges said that these people still deserved the opportunity to expand their wealth, grow their portfolios, and gain access to alternative financial tools that would help them offset the problems they were facing with their national fiat currency. Now, it appears all these ideas have been tossed out the window.
Back in February, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell – who recently announced he would be vacating his post with the company – stated that while he condemned the actions being taken against non-sanctioned Russian individuals, Kraken was, after all, a centralized exchange, and thus it would be forced to comply with all present rules.
He put out a warning to traders saying that if they were worried about the situation, their best bet was to move their assets to other trading platforms. He commented:
If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized or regulated custodian. We cannot protect you. We comply with all the regulations under which we are bound and are monitoring this situation closely.
The Company Is Now Complying
Sadly, it looks like monitoring the situation closely has gone from taking swift and irreversible action.
Given that it is indeed a centralized exchange, it appears Kraken has now fallen victim to the rulings of Joe Biden and other branches of government that want to see Russia left behind.