In a blog post on Tuesday, Binance announced that Visa and Mastercard credit cards issued in Russia will no longer be available as a transaction method on its cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It also suggested that Russian users will not be able to use Mastercard and Visa cards issued by institutions outside of Russia. The policy applies to “all transactions initiated” with those cards, according to the phrasing of the announcement.
Visa and Mastercard announced to suspend operations in Russia.
The crypto exchange’s announcement cited “recent decisions by Visa and Mastercard” as the reason for the new policy. Earlier on Saturday, Visa and Mastercard announced that they would suspend operations in Russia in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao similarly implied that the policy change was an act of compliance. “This is out of our hands. Not our decision,” he stated on Twitter after the announcement. Earlier, Binance CEO Zhao previously called a total ban on Russian users unethical and said they would primarily comply with government sanctions.
This is out of our hands. Not our decision. https://t.co/K3mH75Ul3B
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) March 8, 2022
Coinbase blocked over 25,000 Russia-linked addresses.
In a Monday blog post, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal revealed that the platform blocked over 25,000 Russia-linked addresses that it suspects of having connections to criminal activity. An excerpt read: “Today, Coinbase blocks over 25,000 addresses related to Russian individuals or entities we believe to be engaging in illicit activity, many of which we have identified through our own proactive investigations. Once we identified these addresses, we shared them with the government to further support sanctions enforcement.”
As reported earlier, the CEOs of Binance and Coinbase said that crypto is too small for Russia to use as a tool to evade sanctions.