• Tether Deaf to Calls to Stop Transacting With Russia

  • Tether has turned a deaf ear to the Ukrainian government’s request that stablecoin transactions be halted.

    Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted at Bitfinex and Tether CTO, Paolo Ardoino, on Friday, urging both to stop dealing with Russians.

    “Today, the entire democratic world has joined against Russia to economically punish the bloodthirsty invaders.” I urge @tether to @paoloardoino to halt any transactions with Russians! “For Peace,” stated the tweet.

    This comes as Western firms including as Apple, Intel, SAP SE, and cryptocurrency exchanges have been urged to prevent Russian access to their goods and services. As a result, beginning March 1, 2022, Apple will no longer sell iPhones, iPads, or Macs in Russia.

    “We are ceasing business in Russia and Belarus in accordance with sanctions, as well as suspending all sales of SAP services and products in Russia and Belarus,” SAP SE said on its website.

    Intel Corporation, the world’s largest chipmaker, also announced on its website that it will “halt all shipments to clients in both Russia and Belarus.”

    Tether did not directly answer to Fedorov’s tweet, but it did state that “[it] maintains constant market monitoring to guarantee that there are no abnormal movements or measures that may be in violation of international sanctions.”

    Tether has joined the ranks of Kraken and Coinbase.

    Tether joins a growing number of cryptocurrency companies that refuse to bar all Russians from using their services. Coinbase and Kraken have stated that they will not prohibit all Russian users because doing so violates the censorship-resistance premise of cryptocurrency.

    Fedorov has also asked American printing giant Xerox to stop selling equipment to Ukraine, as well as software and cloud computing behemoth Microsoft to “do more” to end the conflict. He believes that public shaming works because businesses make logical and rational decisions.

    “I believe this is as black and white as it ever gets.” It is time to choose a side, either one of peace or one of horror and death,” Fedorov remarked in a recent interview with.

    However, civil society organizations such as Russia’s Internet Protection Society provide a different perspective:

    “Shutdowns are useful in tyranny, but not in democracy.” “Any measures that restrict Russian citizens’ access to information only reinforce Putin’s dictatorship,” they stated in a statement issued earlier this week.

    Tether can be used to facilitate capital flight.

    Fedorov may be hinting at the possibility of Tether being used for capital flight by the Russian aristocracy by targeting the stablecoin. In other terms, it is the movement of money across borders.

    According to a 2020 Chainalysis analysis, China and other Southeast Asian investors used Tether to transfer $50 billion to other jurisdictions.

    Some of these money outflows, however, were caused by mining activity in the country at the time. Nonetheless, Russians may be able to take their money outside of the nation and invest it in other cryptocurrencies. According to CryptoCompare, bitcoin inflows from the Russian currency have increased by 0.08 percent since the end of 2021.

    The use of Tether, according to analytics firm Kaiko, is also fuelling trading activity in rubles.

    Tether is a private corporation that releases an eponymous stablecoin that is said to be backed by dollar reserves. Many years back, the New York Attorney General initiated a civil case against Tether for misrepresenting about its fiat currency reserves and mixing company and customer cash. Tether later settled the lawsuit without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

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