CRYPTO

Switzerland Plans to Freeze Russian Cryptocurrency Assets (Report)

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The typically neutral country has joined the EU and the US in imposing financial sanctions against Russians following the war started by President Putin. Moreover, the nation’s authorities have also gone after their cryptocurrency holdings within Switzerland’s borders.

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  • Ever since Putin launched its “special military operation” against Ukraine, which turned out to be an all-out war, NATO and the EU have taken severe measures to restrict the country and its wealthiest individuals (oligarchs) from accessing financial services and even their own money.
  • It’s worth noting that cryptocurrencies were also brought into the mix, with watchdogs alleging that oligarchs can use them to bypass sanctions. As such, many people urged exchanges to stop servicing Russian-based customers and even freeze their assets.
  • These requests split the community in half. While giants like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken have so far refused to do so, saying that such a move would be contradictory to crypto’s nature, several South Korean exchanges started blocking Russian IP addresses.
  • Switzerland has taken a similar stance, according to a Financial Times report. Aside from joining the EU in imposing all sanctions against Russia, the typically neutral state also went after Russians’ cryptocurrency holdings on its soil. Interestingly, a senior official at the finance ministry also highlighted some of the biggest merits of the digital asset industry.

“If someone holds their crypto key themselves, then, wherever they are, it’s going to be virtually impossible to identify them. But, if they are using crypto services – funds, exchanges, and so on – these service points we can target.”

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