Kraken, a popular cryptocurrency exchange based in San Francisco, CA, has announced that it will donate approximately $10 million worth of bitcoins to citizens of Ukraine affected by the recent Russian invasion.
Kraken is giving crypto to Ukrainian customers
A few weeks ago, Russia invaded its Eastern European neighbor and the battle apparently led to countless civilian deaths. Not long ago, the world watched in horror as Russian troops allegedly bombed a hospital’s maternity ward, prompting wide-ranging investigations. Kraken is trying to do its part by helping those who have seen their lives shattered in recent days.
Kraken says that any customer who has created accounts through its platform before March 9 of this year will be able to receive up to $1,000 worth of BTC. It can be assumed that many Ukrainian customers turned to Kraken during these difficult times, since the total donation amount reaches $10 million. This basically equates to around 10,000 individual customers.
Additionally, merchants could withdraw these funds at any time, and conversion fees would be waived as a way to save money. Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, explained in a recent interview:
We look forward to continuing to provide critical financial services in a time of need for our clients in Ukraine and Russia. Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer trust traditional banks and custodians.
Despite its help to Ukrainian citizens, Kraken has been one of many cryptocurrency exchanges defying requests from Congress to refute all dealings with Russia. While the company has said it will comply with sanctions and other key laws, Kraken is refusing to cut standard Russian citizens who may have seen their wealth disintegrate in recent days thanks to the fall of the ruble, the country’s national currency.
Kraken and many other cryptocurrency exchanges have claimed that these individuals have nothing to do with the alleged war crimes initiated by the leaders of Russia. They also stated that these citizens have the right to ensure that their wealth remains stable like everyone else, and they should have opportunities for financial independence and privacy like everyone else.
Still bringing business to the Russians
Powell even joked in a statement that if Kraken were to freeze the financial accounts of residents of countries that were launching inappropriate attacks against unsuspecting countries, it would start by freezing “all US accounts.”
At the time of this writing, members of the US government, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, are calling on many cryptocurrency exchanges around the world to do their best to cooperate with cryptocurrency sanctions. the US against Russia and cut off business with the country.