In a letter directed to its users, Blockchain.com has announced that it will block accounts of Russian nationals beginning October 27, 2022. This move has been made in response to the latest sanctions imposed by the European Union.
The company will close the wallet provider to Russians on October 27, 2022. However, it will continue to allow them to withdraw funds until then.
In a recent letter, the wallet Blockchain.com informed its users that it is now prohibiting custodial and reward services to Russian nationals because of the EU’s seven-packet of sanctions against Russia. The previous sanctions limited Russian-EU crypto payments to 10,000 rubles ($9,700). The most recent package puts a blanket ban on cross-border crypto between Russia and the EU.
These sanctions were implemented in the past month.
The Dapper, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Canada, has blocked the accounts of Russian users. Dapper has ceased their ability to buy, sell, exchange or withdraw coins from accounts linked with Russia or Russia-based IP addresses. The closure does not affect stored assets, though.
Additionally, LocalBitcoins, a crypto exchange, has also been reported to be considering imposing restrictions on its clients. The restriction includes that it allows Russian clients only to withdraw cryptocurrencies in one transaction, and once the transaction is completed, it disallows any withdrawals.
Many other major exchanges, including Crypto.com and Coinbase, are also looking to comply with sanctions. Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, has decided to implement these new restrictions for Russian nationals.
Ambivalence about Blockchain.com’s stance
Blockchain.com’s wallet services also provide more than custodial services. The wallet has a non-custodial wallet, which allows users to have control over their assets but not access to the wallet’s data.
Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, has said that its custodial trading account with a non-custodial wallet will allow users to buy and sell crypto on the platform. However, it remains unclear whether Russian customers would be able to access their non-custodial wallets on Blockchain.com. Exchanges such as Bitfinex have, in the past, opposed crypto sanctions against the Russian people.
Bitfinex said it would safeguard the accounts of all its customers, but the exchange's stance may change if ordered by regulatory authorities.