Amidst the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, countries, as well as companies, have taken steps in blocking trade with the latter. Other than that, many countries including the United States have imposed sanctions on Russia. However, many speculated that Russia can evade those through cryptocurrencies. Recently, the chief executives of two major crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase explain why Russia can’t evade sanctions through crypto.
Binance CEO Chaangpeng Zhao (CZ) talked about this in the Guardian, saying:
“Currently, the media and politicians are spending a lot of effort and focus on crypto and sanctions. The truth is, crypto is too small for Russia.“
In addition to that, he said:
“If we look at the crypto adoption today, there is probably about 3% of the global population with some kind of crypto exposure (ie, owning some crypto). Of those, most only have a small percentage of their net worth in crypto. Less than 10% on average. So, there is probably only less than 0.3% of the global net worth in crypto today. This percentage applies equally to Russia.”
Finally, he said that since crypto is easily traceable, Russia couldn’t make use of it as governments can track it easily.
A similar statement came from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. He tweeted last Friday:
“We don’t think there’s a high risk of Russian oligarchs using crypto to avoid sanctions. Because it is an open ledger, trying to sneak lots of money through crypto would be more traceable than using U.S. dollars cash, art, gold, or other assets.“
Besides them, G7 countries and the European Union are taking measures to prevent Russia from using crypto for evading sanctions.