Kraken will not freeze Russian accounts at the moment, says Powell
Kraken’s CEO said the crypto exchange would not freeze accounts belonging to Russians.
Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, has urged cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze the accounts belonging to Russians. Fedorov said;
"it's crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users."
However, Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell pointed out that the exchange will not freeze accounts belonging to Russians at the moment. Powell said;
“I understand the rationale for this request but, despite my deep respect for the Ukrainian people, Kraken cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so. Russians should be aware that such a requirement could be imminent.
Powell pointed out that the situation could change with time if the conditions are met to freeze user accounts. He added that;
“Our mission at Kraken is to bridge individual humans out of the legacy financial system and bring them in to the world of crypto, where arbitrary lines on maps no longer matter, where they don't have to worry about being caught in broad, indiscriminate wealth confiscation.”
Powell added that Kraken’s mission is better served by focusing on individual needs above those of any government or political faction. The People's Money is an exit strategy for humans, a weapon for peace, not for war. He added that;
“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 US accounts. As a practical matter, that's not really a viable business option for us.”
While Kraken is yet to approve the freezing of Russian accounts, Dmarket, a Ukrainian born-digital assets company, has gone ahead to freeze accounts belonging to Russians on its platform.