Ethermine, the largest Ethereum mining pool by hashrate, included Russia and Belarus in the list of forbidden countries.
Bitfly, the operator of Ethermine, updated its user agreement. Now Russia and Belarus are on the list of countries where the pool does not work with miners. As explained by Bitfly, the decision was made in accordance with the law on combating money laundering and illegal financial transactions. The restrictive measures of Ethermine, according to the company, are aimed at complying with the sanctions requirements of regulators so that users from Russia and Belarus cannot circumvent US government sanctions via cryptocurrencies.
Despite user policy updates, miners already connected to Ethermine pool and working from Russia and Belarus have not yet been disabled.
Last week, another Ethereum mining pool, Flexpool, announced it would cease work with users from Russia.
In addition, the South Korean crypto exchanges Upbit, Bithumb and Korbit added Russian IP addresses to their blacklists.
However, not all cryptocurrency platforms agree with the complete refusal to work with Russian users. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted that Russian oligarchs are unlikely to use cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions and that the exchange will ban individuals included in the sanctions list, but will not stop working with all Russian users. A similar statement was made by Binance. However, the risks of freezing funds remain. As Armstrong noted, that if the US government decides to impose a ban on crypto services to users from Russia, Coinbase will, of course, follow these laws. Tether is ready to impose sanctions against Russia, but so far no such requests have been received, Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino revealed.