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Kraken crypto exchange is next to close doors to Russian users

Kraken is the latest cryptocurrency exchange to restrict accounts of Russian users on its platform in compliance with sanctions from the European Union.

On Oct. 19, Kraken sent out email statements to its Russian clients to announce that the exchange is halting services to its Russian customers.

“Due to the new European legislation, we have to take measures to restrict your Kraken account,” the company said. According to an email statement seen by Cointelegraph, Russian users would be able to withdraw their funds by request.

“We will update our support center if there are any changes,” Kraken noted, adding: “We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

Kraken didn’t specify whether there’s a time limit to withdraw the funds from the exchange for Russian citizens. A spokesperson for Kraken told Cointelegraph that the firm complies with the “legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions” of its operations. “Since the EU’s announcement, we have been working to make the changes needed to comply with the latest package of sanctions against Russia,” the representative noted.

The latest restrictions on Kraken are not the first time the exchange has dealt with regulators forcing centralized exchanges to shut down certain accounts.

In February 2022, former Kraken CEO Jesse Powell condemned the Canadian authorities for freezing crypto wallets involved in funding local COVID-19 protests. He explicitly warned the public that Kraken could be forced to freeze some wallets by regulators, advising crypto investors to move crypto out of exchanges.

“If you’re worried about it, don’t keep your funds with any centralized or regulated custodian. We cannot protect you,” Powell said at the time.

By restricting Russian users on its platform, Kraken joins the increasing number of global crypto exchanges and wallets that stopped servicing Russians in compliance with the latest EU sanctions against Russia.

As previously reported, several crypto firms, including Blockchain.com, Crypto.com and LocalBitcoins, have ceased operations for Russians.

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