Binance boss rejects Russian user crypto ban

The boss of one of the world’s biggest crypto-currency exchanges has ruled out restricting ordinary Russians from using the service.

Binance founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao said:  “Many normal Russians do not agree with war.”

Major crypto-currency exchanges have been asked by Ukraine to block Russian users.

One financial expert warned the war could become a “crypto conflict”.

In a tweet on Sunday Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked major crypto-currency exchanges to block the addresses of ordinary Russian users, not just politicians.

According to Reuters news agency, the value of Bitcoin has risen 13% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There has been speculation Russian oligarchs may pour their money into crypto-currency to avoid sanctions and other restrictions.

The Telegraph newspaper called crypto-currency “Putin’s sanctions-busting super-weapons”.

But Zhao said:  “We’re not against any people.

“We differentiate between the Russian politicians who start wars and the normal people.

“Many normal Russians do not agree with war.”

“We don’t control the industry.

“I can publish my sanction list, you can publish yours.

“Guess what? No-one else is going to follow.

“It just moves Russian users to other smaller platforms.”

In a statement published earlier, Binance said it would not unilaterally freeze millions of “innocent users”’ accounts.

“Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe,” said the company.

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