In the midst of the Russia-Ukraine tensions, calls for cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze Russian accounts have grown louder, but Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has replied to the call for his company to freeze Russian crypto assets in an unexpected way.
Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, has openly requested that all major cryptocurrency exchanges suspend accounts in order to put more pressure on Russia’s resources and bring the war to an end.
However, the co-founder of one of the most prominent crypto trading platforms in the United States Jess Powell has declined, stating his stance on Tweet.
The Kraken CEO buttressed that while he has “deep respect” for the Ukrainian people, he feels crypto should promote individualism rather than nationalism.
He goes on to say that if crypto-assets of war defaulters all over the world are to be frozen for the crime of war being committed, the United States should be the first jurisdiction to freeze.
“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 U.S. accounts,” Powell wrote on Twitter. “As a practical matter, that’s not really a viable business option for us.”
Powell has stated that he will only freeze the accounts if he is legally forced to do so, which he feels is a possibility as Russian attacks grow.
Powell added that Focusing on human needs rather than those of any government or political faction better serves our objective. The People’s Money is a human exit strategy, a weapon for peace rather than war.
Many Russians have already invested in cryptocurrency, and the country currently ranks 18th in terms of adoption globally.
There was an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrency in Russia in the weeks leading up to Special Military Operation in Ukraine, with speculation that the Russian government may have moved a large sum of money into cryptocurrency to reduce the severity of the sanctions imposed on the country by the West.