The Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Will Soon Stop Serving Customers In Russia

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Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Bitfinsider

In accordance with the sanctions imposed by the European Union, the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has become the most recent of its kind to restrict access to its platform for users based in Russia.

The information that the exchange will no longer provide services to its Russian customers was communicated to Kraken’s Russian customers on October 19 via email statements that were sent to those customers.

According to the statement made by the company, “Due to the new European legislation, we are required to take measures to restrict your Kraken account.” An email statement that was seen by Bitfinsider indicated that users in Russia would have the ability to withdraw their funds upon request.

Kraken mentioned that “We will update our support center if there are any changes,” and added, “We apologize for the inconvenience that has been caused.”

Kraken did not provide any information regarding whether or not there is a time limit for Russian citizens to withdraw funds from the exchange. Kraken complies with the “legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions,” according to a spokesperson for the company who spoke with Bitfinsider about the company’s operations. The representative made the following observation: “Since the announcement made by the EU, we have been working to make the changes required to comply with the most recent package of sanctions against Russia.”

The most recent restrictions placed on Kraken are not the first time the exchange has been forced to deal with regulators who require centralized exchanges to close certain accounts.

Jesse Powell, a former CEO of Kraken, voiced his disapproval of the actions taken by Canadian authorities in February 2022 when they froze cryptocurrency wallets that were used to fund local COVID-19 protests. He warned the public in no uncertain terms that Kraken could be forced by regulators to freeze some wallets, and he advised cryptocurrency investors to move their cryptocurrency assets away from exchanges.

“If you’re concerned about it, you shouldn’t store your money with any custodian who is centralized or regulated. Powell stated those words to the audience at the time. “We cannot protect you.”

Kraken has joined the growing number of global cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets that have stopped serving Russians in order to comply with the most recent EU sanctions against Russia. The exchange has done this by restricting Russian users’ access to its platform.

It appears that Bitfinex was forced to comply with sanctions, despite the fact that it was one of the few exchanges that had previously opposed the prohibition of non-sanctioned Russians from using its platform.

Bitfinex’s senior public relations manager, Joe Morgan, was quoted in an article published on Bitinsider on October 20 as saying, “We comply with all the regulations under which we are bound and are monitoring this situation closely.” In the past, Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer of Bitfinex, has suggested that investors utilize noncustodial hardware wallets as a means of providing enhanced security for their funds.

The new crypto-related sanctions were implemented on October 6 as part of the eighth set of sanctions that were imposed by the EU. Because of the sanctions, any kind of cryptocurrency transaction or payment that takes place between companies regulated in Europe and users in Russia is completely prohibited. The European Union (EU) initially adopted its first crypto sanctions against Russia in April. These sanctions limited the ability of Russian users or residents to trade if their holdings were worth more than 10,000 euros ($10,000) at the time.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrency or stocks comes with a risk of financial loss.

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