Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange said on Tuesday that it will stop accepting cards issued by Mastercard and Visa in Russia, effective from Wednesday. All transactions initiated through the two outside Russia will also be unavailable in the country.
The move, announced on Binance’s blog comes after the world’s largest card operators said they will discontinue services in Russia as part of sanctions against Moscow, over the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia was subject to some of the strictest U.S. sanctions seen yet, which blocked several major banks from the SWIFT payments network and froze their foreign holdings. Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, had shut its European operations following the move.
Commenting on the move, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly know as “CZ”, said the decision was out of their hands.
This is out of our hands. Not our decision.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) March 8, 2022
Crypto exchanges will not ban Russians
Binance, like most major crypto exchanges, had refused calls to completely ban Russian customers. But the exchanges agreed to comply with U.S. sanctions in that any blacklisted entities would be blocked from their platforms. Coinbase recently said it had blocked 25,000 Russian wallets which it said appeared to be engaging in illegal activities.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell had also spoken against the banning of Russian users, and said Kraken would not do so unless legally obligated.
The U.S. government was recently seen adding crypto to its sanctions against Russia, and warning exchanges from engaging with blacklisted individuals.
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