Blockchain.com, a crypto wallet provider, is the latest company to cease providing services to Russian citizens due to the recent sanctions by the European Union.
Blockchain.com has informed its users that it will close down Russian accounts within two weeks. This was reported by RBC, the local news agency.
According to the report Blockchain.com will allow Russian customers to withdraw their funds up to Oct. 27, 2022. The accounts of Russian citizens will be reportedly blocked after that date.
According to the EU’s eighth round of sanctions against Russia, Blockchain.com was prohibited from offering custodial or reward services to Russian citizens.
Contrary to previous sanctions that restricted Russan’s EU crypto payments up to $9,700 or 10,000 Euros, this latest package bans cross-border crypto payments between Russians, EU, and other countries. On Oct. 6, the new sanctions were implemented.
Blockchain.com offers more than just custodial services. Blockchain.com also has a noncustodial account, which is ideally designed to allow users to fully manage their assets and the company does not have access to the wallet data. Blockchain.com offers custodial trading accounts that allow users to trade and buy crypto on the platform.
It is not clear if Russian customers will be able access their Blockchain.com noncustodial wallets. Cointelegraph reached out to the firm but they did not respond immediately.
Blockchain.com isn’t the only platform that has been unable to stop some Russian services due to the new sanctions. Due to the EU’s recent sanctions against Russia and its citizens, Dapper Labs, a major blockchain developer also suspended Russian accounts .
Many other major exchanges and peer to peer platforms, such as Crypto.com, Coinbase, and LocalBitcoins are also expected to comply with the sanctions.
According to Jukka Blomberg, chief marketing officer of LocalBitcoins, the exchange stopped offering Russian users its services starting Oct. 7. This includes both trading and wallet services. He stated that the 8th EU-wide sanctions package had forced them to limit Russian customers’ activities on LocalBitcoins platform.
Blomberg pointed out that Russia’s trade volume was approximately 8% of the firm’s total volumes in September 2022. Russia was once the largest LocalBitcoin market, accounting 19% of all BTC trading volumes at the exchange on a monthly basis in 2020.
Related: Russian officials approve crypto-based cross-border payments
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, is not an exception. The firm works around the clock to implement the Russian restrictions. Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that changes like these require time because we need to coordinate with multiple tech partners and risk management partners.
Tether’s sister exchange Bitfinex was opposed to crypto sanctions against regular Russian citizens . In March 2022, Bitfinex chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino stated that “our view is that actions by a government don’t necessarily represent the will of individuals.” He said that Bitfinex would protect all accounts of their customers, “unless otherwise directed” by the regulatory authorities.