Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, has explained why it will be hard for Russia to use Ripple or cryptocurrencies in general, to evade financial sanctions and find a way around the SWIFT ban.
As the tragic events continue to unfold in the war-torn Ukraine, many are highlighting how cryptocurrencies are playing a significant role in the ongoing tensions between Russia and its neighbouring country. On one hand, Ukraine is receiving Bitcoin (BTC) donations from world-over, on the other there are rising concerns of Russia using crypto to bypass growing global sanctions.
Many among the western countries have already imposed strict economic sanctions against Russia, and have also barred the country’s banking system from accessing the SWIFT global payments network.
Crypto critics are questioning the role of digital assets in keeping Russia’s economy and war machine alive, despite the ongoing war. Ripple (XRP) has particularly come under the scanner as a possible medium for fund transfers from/to Russia, especially how it offers cheap and quick settlements, unlike Bitcoin (BTC).
Crypto exchanges like Binance have also come under fire for refusing to block Russian crypto accounts, a move many believe is in alignment with the libertarian values of the crypto industry. There’s a rising speculation on how the broader crypto industry may suffer if sanctions are imposed on these exchanges as well.
Ripple CEO clarifies
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple recently took to Twitter to defend XRP and cryptocurrencies in general. In a series of tweets through his personal Twitter handle, he explained why Russia cannot evade financial sanctions using XRP or any other cryptocurrency.
He stressed that crypto platforms like exchanges depend on banking partners for conversion of crypto into fiat currencies. Furthermore, these banks follow stringent AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols; and could lose their licenses if anyone from the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) sanctions list manages to slip through.
He clarified Ripple’s stand by stating, “RippleNet, for example, has always been – and remains today – committed to NOT working with sanctioned banks or countries that are restricted counterparties. Ripple and our customers support and enforce OFAC laws and KYC/AML.” Additionally, he stressed that the popular argument that cryptocurrencies are used by anti-social elements to launder funds is tired and outdated.
Garlinghouse further cited the earlier tweets by Asheesh Birla, company’s General Manager, in which he explains the truth behind the so-called crypto industry’s role in evasion of global sanctions.