The Russian-Ukraine faceoff is beginning to heat up, with Russia largely facing the heat with litany of sanctions. Cryptocurrency Company, Coinbase Global Inc has joined the fray as the remotely located crypto firm has backed up the sanctions against Russia as it revealed the extent it will be working with the various government calling for a hard line stance against Russia.
The company in an announcement stated that it has blocked over 25,000 accounts linked to Russians it believes are undertaking an illicit activity.
Coinbase in a blog post had written:
“Many whom we have identified through our proactive investigations. Once we identified the addresses, we shared them with the government to further support sanctions,” it added.
According to the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) of the crypto giant, Paul Grewal, many of the accounts had been identified through the exchange’s own “proactive” investigations.
He believes the move will be part of a broader response to the Russian assault on Ukraine, in addition to sending addresses to the U.S. government to “further support sanctions enforcement.”
“Sanctions play an important role in promoting national security and deterring unlawful aggression, and Coinbase fully supports these efforts by government authorities,” the post said.
This is coming after Brian Armstrong, Coinbase Chief Executive Officer (CEO) tweeted that as at last Wednesday, his company didn’t think there is a “high risk” of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions.
The company also posited that digital assets can “naturally deter common approaches to sanctions evasion.”
“By transacting through shell companies, incorporating in known tax havens, in addition to leveraging opaque ownership structures, bad actors continue to use fiat currency to obscure the movement of funds,” it said.
“They leave complex financial trails that are difficult to trace, which requires investigators to request information from many financial institutions and follow a trail across multiple countries,” the platform added.
In the exchange, it was noted that as a result of the public, immutable, and traceable nature of blockchain, transactions can be traced without having to get information from multiple parties.
Crypto and digital asset transactions are by contrast “traceable, permanent and public”, while it “enhances” Coinbase’s ability to “detect and deter” evasion as compared to the traditional financial system, it said.
Coinbase has in the past be subjected to criticisms and scrutiny, one of them is the accusation by the digital rights group, Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2020 that it did not adequately manage requests by law enforcement for users’ private financial data.