The leading cryptocurrency exchange – Kraken – will give $1,000 in bitcoin to each Ukrainian citizen who opened an account on the platform before March 10th. The initiative is designed to help those in need after Russia launched its “special military operation” in the country.
Kraken’s Support to Ukrainians
The list of companies, trading venues, and individuals doing their best to aid Ukraine’s wellbeing during the ongoing war with Russia keeps growing. The latest example came from the US-based crypto exchange Kraken.
In a recent announcement, Kraken revealed it will donate $1,000 worth of bitcoin to Ukrainian users who signed up before March 10th. Citizens could withdraw the cryptocurrency immediately as in addition, Kraken will distribute $1,000 in Kraken Fee Credits to ensure customers could make conversions at no cost.
Overall, the company said it will give away more than $10 million worth of digital assets to affected Ukrainian citizens. Kraken hopes this will be viewed as a reasonable compromise since it previously refused to block its Russian-based users. Jesse Powell – CEO of the platform – commented:
“We hope to continue being able to provide critical financial services in a time of need to both our clients in Ukraine and Russia. Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians.”
Subsequently, Kraken explained that the $10 million donation equals the total trading fees paid by Russian-based clients over the first months of 2022. As such, the company will not profit from their custom, which is another way to display its disapproval of the military conflict.
The Reaction From The Exchanges
Amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the latter’s Vice Prime Minister – Mykhailo Fedorov – urged the leading digital asset platforms to block all Russian users’ blockchain addresses.
However, Binance and Kraken did not follow that request. The former argued that “crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom,” and such a move could oppose the concept of the industry. It also suggested that the majority of those accounts belong to “innocent” individuals who have no relation to the war.
Kraken took a similar stance by describing bitcoin and the altcoins as the embodiment of libertarian values. As such, it would be a mistake to freeze all Russian clients’ accounts, Powell said.
Coinbase, on the other hand, blocked 25,000 Russian blockchain addresses connected with individuals who are supposedly engaged in illegal activities.