The Swiss government, which has remained neutral in almost all world conflicts, has announced that it will actively help the European Union in freezing the cryptocurrency accounts of Russian citizens due to the invasion of Russian occupying forces into the territory of Ukraine. In an interview with the Financial Times, Swiss Finance Minister Guy Parmelin said the country had already frozen the fiat bank accounts and physical assets of 223 Russians last week, including oligarchs and close associates of putin. Cryptocurrency bans will be an additional sanctions tool that goes beyond the four packages of EU sanctions already implemented. The issue of digital assets is important for Switzerland, as in recent years the country has become one of the largest blockchain hubs in the world and has been called the “Crypto Valley.” According to a report by Swiss venture capital firm CV VC, there were approximately 1,128 crypto companies in Switzerland and neighboring Liechtenstein by the end of 2021. Recall that after the freezing of the assets of RF’s Central Bank and the disconnection of seven Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system, the European authorities decided to take measures to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies as a way to evade the imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation. This was announced on Wednesday by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
The management of the large cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, whose office is located in San Francisco, announced its unwillingness to block the accounts of its Russian users because they doubt the desire of Russian officials to use the services of the exchange to circumvent international sanctions imposed due to military aggression against Ukraine. Coinbase also said that they don’t want to block the accounts of clients from Russia, who cannot influence the decisions made by their government in any way. By the way, the services of the crypto-exchange really extend to more than 100 countries, and in many regions the platform was really able to provide the fundamental right to banking services where both the necessary services and infrastructure were absent. However, this approach of the Coinbase leadership contradicts the basic principles of the sanctions, which are introduced so that the citizens of the aggressor countries feel from their own experience that the leaders of their countries make decisions that are contrary to morality, peace agreements and, in the case of an attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine, common sense. According to Coinbase managers, the refusal to block the accounts of RF’s citizens is an indicator of their liberal attitude towards users. However, some market analysts are already predicting significant reputational losses for the exchange, which may follow the refusal to maintain sanctions.
Founded in 2018, the Bybit cryptocurrency exchange, which is a partner of UNICEF, an international organization that helps children around the world, has donated $100,000 in BTC to families affected by putin’s war in Ukraine. Donations will be transferred through UNICEF and distributed in accordance with the program of assistance to the civilian population of Ukraine. First of all, help will be received by families stuck in the territories temporarily occupied by Russian war criminals. The donations from Bybit became known thanks to a tweet on the official UNICEF Aotearoa page. In addition to Bybit, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and consulting firms, many corporations have also supported governmental and non-governmental organizations in Ukraine. In particular, donations were received from PayPal, JPMorgan, Intel and Spotify. Many companies also financed directly the armed forces of Ukraine. If we talk exclusively about cryptocurrency donations, then at the beginning of the new trading week, more than $80 million had already been received into Ukrainian cryptocurrency accounts. They will be used mainly to help families affected by the war and restore the country's infrastructure facilities.