Why Coinbase DOES NOT Bar Russian Crypto Investors

Ezra Finch
2 min readMar 19, 2022
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Everything and everyone is Russia boycotting at the moment. From Russian athletes to oligarchs, they are all banned. However, Coinbase refuses to participate in this, and not without reason.

Brian Armstrong is the founder of crypto trading platform Coinbase, which went public last year. He argues his choice, having an eye for the ‘normal Russian’.

Coinbase remains accessible to Russians with crypto

For many Russians, crypto coins are the only remaining opportunity to escape the free fall of the ruble. With that warning comes the ceo of Coinbase, the largest American exchange for cryptocurrencies. Brian Armstrong ignores the call to ban Russians from the trading platform for digital coins such as bitcoin or ether.

“Some ordinary Russians are using cryptos as a lifeline now that their own currency has collapsed. Many of them are probably against the things their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them too,” Armstrong explained on Twitter. Should there be American sanctions against all trade by Russians in cryptocurrencies, Coinbase will comply.

Some Russian investors blacklisted

Coinbase does work on sanctions against individual Russians. The platform blocks IP addresses of devices that may be blacklisted by individuals. But Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Michailo Fedorov recently called for a total ban on crypto trading by Russian users.

The European Union and G7 previously expressed concerns about the ability of Russians on the sanctions list to circumvent punitive measures via crypto, because there is no central supervision of the coins traded via blockchain. But the Coinbase founder counters that within a blockchain, every transaction is tracked by all the separate parts of the network. As a result, the movements of cryptocurrencies would be easier to follow than, for example, transactions with gold.

Ezra Finch

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