by Lubomir Tassev
Canadian company Dapper Labs has blocked operations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for Russian accounts. The move follows a new round of sanctions recently imposed by the EU which prohibit the provision of crypto-related services to Russian residents and entities.
Dapper Labs, the creators of the Flow blockchain network and projects like Cryptokitties and NBA Top Shot, has complied with the new restrictive measures adopted by the European Union in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
The eighth package of EU sanctions was approved by Brussels on Thursday, Oct. 6, after the latest escalation of the conflict with Russia announcing partial mobilization and taking steps to annex four Ukrainian regions through what the bloc sees as fake referendums.
The penalties, targeting the Russian economy, government and foreign trade, also feature financial measures affecting the business activities of crypto companies. The latter have been prohibited from providing any wallet, account, or custody services to Russian nationals.
The restrictions apply regardless of the amount of digital assets, tightening the regime in comparison with the fifth round of sanctions imposed earlier this year, when only “high-value” crypto-asset services were banned, those for crypto holdings exceeding €10,000 ($11,000 at the time).
“Our payment processing and stored value service partner is subject to EU regulations and has directed us to take action on all accounts held by those impacted by the Oct. 6 restrictions, consistent with EU law,” Dapper Labs explained in a notice published on its website.
As a result, the company said, Dapper has had to suspend accounts with connections to Russia from the purchase, sale, or gifting of any Moment across all Dapper Sports, any withdrawals from Dapper accounts, and Dapper balance purchases.
The NFT platform pointed out, however, that the accounts were not closed. Impacted users will be able to access them and view their tokens. They will also keep any previously purchased NFTs. “Any Moments you own and any Dapper Balance continue to be your property,” Dapper assured while apologizing for any inconvenience.
Other crypto companies with presence in Europe are likely to adopt similar measures but the restrictions may not affect all global platforms. For example, Binance has reportedly informed users in Russia it did not introduce new restrictions, according to Russian crypto media. That’s despite the world’s largest crypto exchange complying with the previous round of European crypto sanctions.
Do you expect other crypto businesses to suspend services for Russian account holders? Let us know in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, T. Schneider / Shutterstock.com
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by Lubomir Tassev