Crypto is Becoming the Lifeline for Ordinary Russians, Coinbase CEO Says
Meanwhile, as the war between Russia and Ukraine ravages, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes that cryptocurrencies are emerging as the lifeline for Russians as the nation faces heavy sanctions.
“Some ordinary Russians are using crypto as a lifeline now that their currency has collapsed. Many of them likely oppose what their country is doing, and a ban would hurt them, too. That said, if the US government decides to impose a ban, we will of course follow those laws.”
Armstrong pointed out that banning Russians from using the crypto exchange was out of the picture because the law did not warrant it. He added:
“We are not preemptively banning all Russians from using Coinbase. We believe everyone deserves access to basic financial services unless the law says otherwise.”
Both Ukrainians and Russians are running to crypto to shield their money, with the Russian Ruble has lost a third of its value this year. As a result, Ruble-denominated Bitcoin volumes are skyrocketing, given that they recently reached a 9-month high.
As Russia continues to be starved of foreign currency based on the sanctions imposed, the nation might turn to BTC mining.
The director of policy and regulatory at blockchain analytic firm Elliptic, David Carlisle, noted:
“It wouldn’t be a stretch for the Russian government or certain sanctioned entities to look to mining as a way to get access to Bitcoin. They could be translated to goods and services or just hard cash.”
Therefore, the geopolitical turmoil being witnessed has made crypto emerge as a powerful fundraising tool and store of value. For instance, crypto donations to Ukraine in Bitcoin, Polkadot, Ether, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recently topped $52 million.
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Coinbase Will Not Bar Russian Users Unless New Laws Requires: CEO Brian Armstrong