20 Russian Accounts Frozen by South Korean Exchange

Gopax, a South Korean crypto exchange, confirmed that it has blocked and frozen about 20 Russian accounts and IP addresses from its network. The cryptocurrency exchange maintained that its decision was in line with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the European Union’s sanctions against the Russian federation.

According to its official press release, Gopax Dream announced that it had completed the process of freezing all accounts belonging to Russian nationals and blocking access to Russian IP addresses according to the OFAC and EU sanctions against Russia. The exchange maintained that the blockage and restrictions imposed on Russian accounts take effect from March 2, 2022.

The restrictions of Russian accounts by the exchange were in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has received global criticisms. As the war between the two eastern countries intensifies, the US, EU, some financial institutions, and other concerned countries slammed various economic sanctions on Russia.

Early this week, the eastern powerhouse – Russia, was cut off from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), a messaging network for payment orders. SWIFT is a platform that connects thousands of financial institutions across the globe.

Economic and Financial Sanctions Against Russia 

During the last week of February, Russia invaded Ukraine; since then, Russia has been sanctioned by various countries, international organizations, and financial institutions. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that one of the world’s largest and most visible blockchain gaming companies, Hong Kong-based Animoca brands corp. LTD has cut ties with Russia. The company revealed that it is no longer willing to render its services to Russian customers. However, Animaco brands stated that their decision was in response to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

On the other hand, a US senator, Elizabeth Warren, has urged US financial regulators to scrutinize digital assets as crypto risks undermining global sanctions against Russia earlier this week. Though the crypto community highly criticized her warning, she maintained that regulated crypto trading and activities would reduce the risk of undermining sanctions against Russia.

Furthermore, the financial sanctions against Russia have caused a rebound in the crypto marketplace as the Russian ruble has plunged deeply low, which has affected Russia’s financial stability. The ruble nosedived to about 30% against the US dollars on Monday. To prevent a further free fall and if the Ruble stabilizes its financial markets, Russia’s Central Bank doubled the Ruble’s interest rate.

According to the CEO of port shelter investment, Richard Harris, the restrictions against Russia are incredibly unbearable. He added that it would take a while for the market to reassess the situation, determine the currency’s direction, and probably set new prices accordingly.

Irrespective of these sanctions, leading crypto networks Kraken and Binance have given a bit of hope to the Russian crypto community and their customers in particular. The two crypto exchange platforms have revealed that they will continue providing their Russian customers’ services as their accounts won’t be blocked or frozen.