Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has criticized the Biden administration and European governments for not pressuring cryptocurrency exchanges to end transactions with Russian users. She believes regulators “should look hard at how they can prevent the crypto markets from giving an escape hatch to Russia, both governmental and private transactions in and out of Russia.”
Hillary Clinton ‘Disappointed’ Crypto Exchanges Are Not Blocking All Russian Users
Hillary Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator, secretary of state, and the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, heavily criticized the Biden administration, the Treasury Department, and European governments on MSNBC Monday night for allowing Russians to use cryptocurrency as an escape route.
Commenting on some major cryptocurrency exchanges refusing to block accounts of all Russian users, Clinton said:
I was disappointed to see that some of the so-called crypto exchanges, not all of them but some of them, are refusing to end transactions with Russia for some, I don’t know, philosophy of libertarianism or whatever.
She continued: “If there has to be legal or regulatory pressure, everybody should do as much as possible to isolate Russian economic activity right now.”
On Sunday, Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine, tweeted asking all major cryptocurrency exchanges to block addresses of all Russian users, including ordinary users. “It’s crucial to freeze not only addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians but also to sabotage ordinary users,” he tweeted.
However, several major cryptocurrency exchanges have said that they will not comply, refusing to freeze accounts of all Russian users. They include Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken. The exchanges will comply with sanctions requirements, however.
The CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, explained that his exchange can only freeze the accounts of Russian users if there is a legal requirement from a government, citing what happened in Canada during the Freedom Convoy trucker protest.
However, Powell advised that anyone worried about their accounts being frozen should move their coins away from exchanges and self-custody them.
Clinton believes that governments should put more effort into preventing crypto from being used to evade sanctions. The former first lady and secretary of state opined:
In this specific case of Ukraine, I do think that the Treasury Department [and] the Europeans should look hard at how they can prevent the crypto markets from giving an escape hatch to Russia, both governmental and private transactions in and out of Russia.
“I would hope somebody at the Treasury Department is trying to figure out how to rein in the leaky valves in the crypto market that might allow Russia to escape the full weight of the sanctions,” she noted.
In November, Clinton called on the Biden administration to regulate cryptocurrency, warning of manipulation by Russia and China. She also warned that cryptocurrency could destabilize nations and undermine the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
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