The government of Ukraine has continued to solicit that heavier sanctions should be imposed on Russia. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister for Digital Transformation, has called on crypto exchanges to freeze addresses linked to Russia and Belarus.
Ukraine fears crypto could undo sanctions on Russia
Federov made the plea in a tweet, stating that it had become necessary to sabotage not only politicians in both countries, but all its citizens as well.
I’m asking all major crypto exchanges to block addresses of Russian users. It’s crucial to freeze not only the addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users, Federov said.
The international community has been playing its part to place Russia under pressure to end the invasion of Ukraine. The US as well as countries in the European Union (EU) have moved to cripple Russia’s economy through several measures.
These include freezing the assets of Russia’s central banks, as well as kicking out Russian domestic banks for the international financial highway, SWIFT.
However, concerns have been raised that Russia’s government, banks, and billionaires can easily bypass these sanctions with crypto. This is especially as blockchain technology aims to be permissionless and neutral to situations like this.
Market pundits have noted that it is not unthinkable that Russia can easily develop tools to allow its trade using crypto. The CBDC Russia has been planning to launch could also help with sanction evasion if other countries agree to trade with it.
At the moment, no major crypto exchange has announced any plans to sanction Russia or Belarus. DMarkets, a Ukraine-based NFT marketplace, has been the only crypto exchange to respond to Federov’s call for action. The NFT marketplace announced that it would freeze the accounts of users from both countries and may even donate the asset to the war effort.
Bitcoin and altcoins still being swayed by the ongoing war
The crypto market has seen a massive drop in value since the ear broke out. Bitcoin is down 2.11% in the last week. It is changing hands at around $38,400, down 1.43% on the day.
Other cryptocurrencies have also seen significant drops in their value as more than $200 billion has been wiped off the crypto market cap. Market cap stands at $1.8 trillion, down 1.1% on the day.
However, crypto has been playing a significant role in assisting Ukraine. Donations made in crypto to assist Ukraine’s military and citizens have surpassed $18 million.
Key crypto market players have also rallied support for Ukraine. Vitalik Buterin has stated that he stands with Ukraine despite being a Russian. Similarly, Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, has made donations to the country.
Elon Musk, a staunch Dogecoin supporter, has assisted Ukraine with Starlink satellites to ensure that there is internet connectivity.