Kraken becomes the latest crypto exchange to restrict Russia-linked accounts

Quick Take

  • Kraken is now restricting Russian accounts in line with EU sanctions, the crypto exchange confirmed.
  • It is currently unclear what the exact restrictions are.

Kraken is now restricting Russia-linked accounts, according to Russian-language emails sent to customers and obtained by The Block.

The extent of the restrictions currently in effect is unclear at this time, based on the email's contents. One source told The Block that on Oct. 19, some users were yet to experience any restrictions on their account, though The Block has not been able to independently verify this claim. Another user said their account was closed but that they could withdraw funds.

The developer of the decentralized finance platform Yearn, Banteg, tweeted that withdrawals were the only feature available.

“Kraken complies with the legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions that we operate in," a Kraken spokesperson told The Block when asked about the email and tweet. "Since the EU’s announcement, we have been working to make the changes needed to comply with the latest package of sanctions against Russia."

Kraken's former CEO, Jesse Powell, previously stated that the crypto exchange would not ban Russian accounts unless required by law.

Kraken is the latest crypto platform to restrict access to Russian users in line with EU sanctions. Last week, and began enforcing restrictions on such accounts, with the latter exchange providing a withdrawal window for users to remove their funds.

Dapper Labs froze the NFTs of accounts with ties to Russia earlier this month. The company has since provided users with the ability to transfer their NFTs out of their custodial wallet and into a non-custodial wallet.

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