The cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase Global Inc. said it blocked more than 25,000 wallet addresses associated with Russian individuals or legal entities that, in its opinion, are engaged in illegal activities.
According to data for 2021, blocked addresses account for about 0.2% of the 11.4 million Coinbase users making monthly transactions. In the company’s blog, Paul Greval, general counsel of Coinbase, said that the largest US cryptocurrency exchange has banned access to persons under sanctions and uses blockchain analytics to identify potentially related addresses, which it also adds to the internal blacklist.
«Today, Coinbase has blocked more than 25,000 addresses associated with Russian individuals or legal entities that we believe are engaged in illegal activities, many of which we have identified during our own proactive investigations.“, – wrote Greval. «We have shared them with the government to further support compliance with sanctions».
Greval said that Coinbase “fully supports” the international economic sanctions imposed against Russia after the military conflict with Ukraine.
The company spoke in detail about its actions, as US lawmakers and others are wondering whether Russians under sanctions can use cryptocurrency platforms to circumvent economic restrictions. As Bloomberg reported last week, the White House National Security Council and the Treasury Department have asked the leading platforms to take preventive measures.
Major cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, have said they will comply with government orders to restrict access to sanctioned individuals, but will not block all Russian users. Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase, previously said that some ordinary Russians use cryptocurrency as “a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed».