Blockchain gaming giant Animoca Brands will halt services to Russian users amid the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
- In doing so, the Hong Kong firm is breaking with major crypto firms, many of whom have kept providing services to Russian users amid the security crisis.
- “The legal advice we’ve been receiving is we now have to impose some restrictions,” Animoca co-founder and Chairman Yat Siu told Bloomberg in an interview. He added that “It’s a sanctioned country on par with North Korea. The moment we end up doing business in those areas, we might ourselves become financially excluded from the financial system.”
- The decision will apply to subsidiaries such as Gamee and Lympo, but it won't have any material impact on the company's performance because it doesn't have many users in Russia, Siu said, according to Bloomberg.
- Earlier this week, Binance, Kraken, KuCoin and Coinbase declined a request from the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to block Russian accounts.
- One of the world's largest Ethereum mining pools, Flexpool, said on Feb. 25 that it will cancel all services to Russian users and refund their outstanding balances, in support of Ukraine.
- Russian entities, including major banks, have been heavily sanctioned by several countries in the past few days following the Kremlin's decision to invade Ukraine. The rules include warnings to crypto exchanges, the U.S. Treasury said.
- Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg today that the company is working to comply with the sanctions.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.