Hillary Clinton said she was “disappointed” that cryptocurrency exchanges weren’t blanket banning all Russians, complaining that this was likely due to their “philosophy of libertarianism or whatever.”
“Everybody should ratchet up the pressure,” said Clinton. “I was disappointed to see that some of the so-called crypto exchanges, not all of them but some of them, are refusing to end transactions with Russia – you know, from some I don’t know, philosophy of libertarianism or whatever.”
Although large exchanges have so far refused to place a blanket ban on Russians, they are taking action against Russian politicians and oligarchs.
The Biden administration also said it was “continuing to aggressively combat the misuse of cryptocurrency, including to evade US sanctions.”
After Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Federov demanded that cryptocurrency exchanges ban all users in Russia and its ally Belarus, CEO of US-based Kraken Jesse Powell said he would refuse to do so unless a legal order was received.
Powell asserted that crypto should be “a weapon for peace, not for war” and that such a move would violate crypto’s “libertarian values.”
“Besides, if we were going to voluntarily freeze financial accounts of residents of countries unjustly attacking and provoking violence around the world, step 1 would be to freeze all U.S. accounts. As a practical matter, that’s not really a viable business option for us,” he added.
A wave of Russophobia has prompted punitive actions against ordinary Russian citizens in response to their government’s actions.
As we highlighted yesterday, there was chaos in the Moscow Metro after Apple Pay and Google Pay stopped working as a result of sanctions, leaving commuters fumbling around for cash.
In a related development, VP Mykhailo Fedorov is now demanding that Domain Name System (DNS) organization ICANN remove Russian domains from the Internet entirely.
“All of these measures will help users seek for reliable information in alternative domain zones, preventing propaganda and disinformation,” said Fedorov.