July 17, 2024


Growing political tension between Russia and the European Union (EU) has ruptured the country’s access to international services, like Dapper Labs’ platform.

In an article published recently, Flow blockchain developer Dapper Labs announced an immediate suspension of Russian accounts following the EU’s new sanctions against Russia.

Under the new measure, Russian users are restricted to connect to their wallets, regular accounts, and custody services.

Dapper Labs Gets Serious With Russia

Dapper Labs, the well-known Canada-based name behind the popular NFT projects CryptoKitties, NBA Top Shot, and blockchain Flow, has shut down Russian accounts to comply with the European Union.

There will be no way for Russian users to purchase or sell digital collectibles across several platforms. Their funds are also frozen.

To wit,

“It is now prohibited to provide crypto-asset wallet, account, or custody services of any value to accounts with connections to Russia, irrespective of the amount of the wallet.”

According to Dapper Labs, the ban applies not only to individuals who hold a Russian passport but also to individuals who are suspected of having links to Russia. The platform noted that because its headquarters are located in the EU, it is required to adhere to sanctions in a stringent manner.

However, the platform said it did not shut down the accounts permanently.

Users whose NFTs have been affected by these measures can keep accessing and seeing their collectibles. In addition, regardless of this new law, any NFTs that have been purchased in the past by an impacted user will remain to belong to that user.

Dapper Labs is launching a new NFT Marketplace in partnership with Spain’s top football league La LIGA by the end of October. The platform will allow users to buy and sell NFTs made up of videos featuring La Liga players and teams, as well as key moments in the league’s history.

Crypto Transactions Banned In Russia

The EU has officially confirmed a ban on both incoming and outgoing transfers from Russian cryptocurrency wallets, accounts, and custody providers following the proposed restrictions last week.

The latest move came after Moscow signed documents to annex 4 new regions in Ukraine including Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk, and Zaporizhzhia.

Russian organizations, individuals, and governments will not be able to provide or trade in services including information technology consulting, legal advice, code structure, and technical services. Russian users could not transfer any funds, including cryptocurrencies, to or from the EU.

Despite Russia’s historical stance against the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the country is considering the possibility of applying crypto in certain circumstances. Moscow would have given permission for cryptos to be used in cross-border trades through the Ministry of Finance.

While generally opening up to accept cross-border cryptocurrency settlements, the Ministry of Finance and the Russian Central Bank are working together on the launch of the digital ruble.

The tough move of Dapper Labs, together with the Tornado Cash case, seemingly shows the fact that mainstream adoption couldn’t rule out centralization. Debates are unavoidable shortly after the announcement.

Dapper came under fierce criticism for its fresh move. Some individuals in the crypto community posed the question of censorship resistance. A Twitter account argued that freezing accounts meant active censorship of the industry that was created to resist censorship.

EIDumboTS, who claims to be a Dapper employee, said in response that the tightened law left the firm no choice and it had to take action to comply with the sanctions.

EIDumboTS commented,

“We are working quickly to understand the full implications of these sanctions on our community. And of course, we have sent communications out to all impacted Dapper wallet holders and our wider Dapper community too.”

Sanctions imposed on Russia will definitely continue as long as the war continues. The EU and other parties must do everything possible to make Russia feel the economic costs of its military decisions.


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