U.S. crypto exchange CoinZoom pausing new accounts within Russia -CEO

© Reuters. A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su By Hannah Lang (Reuters) - Utah-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinZoom is pausing applications for new accounts within Russia following the country’s escalating conflict in Ukraine, the company’s chief executive officer told Reuters. While CoinZoom is a lesser known crypto exchange, it is one of the first to halt new business operations in Russia, with most exchanges thus far resisting calls to block Russian users despite pleas from the Ukrainian government. Coinbase (NASDAQ:), Kraken and Binance have said that while they will comply with Western sanctions, they would not block Russian users without a legal requirement to do so. CoinZoom Chief Executive Todd Crosland said the company decided to suspend new accounts because it was unclear how customers would fund them given that major payment firms are pulling out of Russia. “It's a very fluid situation in Russia right now and it's very fluid with regulators, so being able to fund your account with a wire or a debit card, Mastercard, Visa (NYSE:) — all of those funding mechanisms are being basically eliminated for Russian customers right now,” Crosland said in an interview. CoinZoom is not blocking its existing Russian account holders but it is screening them against sanctions lists, said Crosland. On Saturday, U.S. payments firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:) said they were suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Crypto exchanges have drawn criticism for refusing to block Russian users, particularly after Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov last month asked crypto exchanges to block the digital wallet addresses of Russian users. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell on Twitter (NYSE:) cited the "libertarian values" of cryptocurrencies as one of the major reasons Kraken would continue operating in Russia. A spokesperson for Binance said in a statement that banning access to crypto “would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.” Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

U.S. crypto exchange CoinZoom pausing new accounts within Russia -CEO
U.S. crypto exchange CoinZoom pausing new accounts within Russia -CEO© Reuters. A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) - Utah-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinZoom is pausing applications for new accounts within Russia following the country’s escalating conflict in Ukraine, the company’s chief executive officer told Reuters.

While CoinZoom is a lesser known crypto exchange, it is one of the first to halt new business operations in Russia, with most exchanges thus far resisting calls to block Russian users despite pleas from the Ukrainian government.

Coinbase (NASDAQ:), Kraken and Binance have said that while they will comply with Western sanctions, they would not block Russian users without a legal requirement to do so.

CoinZoom Chief Executive Todd Crosland said the company decided to suspend new accounts because it was unclear how customers would fund them given that major payment firms are pulling out of Russia.

“It's a very fluid situation in Russia right now and it's very fluid with regulators, so being able to fund your account with a wire or a debit card, Mastercard, Visa (NYSE:) — all of those funding mechanisms are being basically eliminated for Russian customers right now,” Crosland said in an interview.

CoinZoom is not blocking its existing Russian account holders but it is screening them against sanctions lists, said Crosland.

On Saturday, U.S. payments firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:) said they were suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto exchanges have drawn criticism for refusing to block Russian users, particularly after Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov last month asked crypto exchanges to block the digital wallet addresses of Russian users.

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell on Twitter (NYSE:) cited the "libertarian values" of cryptocurrencies as one of the major reasons Kraken would continue operating in Russia.

A spokesperson for Binance said in a statement that banning access to crypto “would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.