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Pomp: We Should Not Normalize Economic War On Innocent Civilians

Substack | Anthony Pompliano | Mar 1, 2022

financial censorship - Pomp:  We Should Not Normalize Economic War On Innocent CiviliansRussia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a flurry of financial sanctions from the United States and their allies over the last week. These actions include cutting Russian banks off from SWIFT, seizing the assets of various Russian oligarchs, outlawing US citizens and companies from transacting with Russia’s central bank, and much more.

Sanctions are levied during times of conflict to apply pressure to the leadership of our adversaries, but they accomplish this goal by actually cutting the average citizen off from the global financial system. Nearly 150 million Russian citizens have watched their savings evaporate as the ruble is in a free fall, their stocks are inaccessible since the stock market was shut down due to high volatility, and they can not withdraw or spend majority of their money due to sanctions and self-imposed limits by the banks.

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There was an interesting development in the last 48 hours that highlights one of the key differences between the legacy financial system and the new, digital financial system. Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, asked major crypto exchanges on Sunday to block all Russian users from using their platforms, regardless of whether they were accused of participating in any crimes or not. This request was followed up on Monday with a similar request from the White House’s National Security Council and the Treasury Department to major crypto exchanges.

As of this writing, all major crypto exchanges have stated that they will not cut off the average Russian citizen from using their products to buy, sell, or store bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies. The largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance, stated that they are “not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts.” The company spokesperson explained to CNBC that “Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell publicly stated that his platform “cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so.” He continued with this explanation:

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“Our mission at [Kraken] is to bridge individual humans out of the legacy financial system and bring them into the world of crypto, where arbitrary lines on maps no longer matter, where they don’t have to worry about being caught in broad, indiscriminate wealth confiscation. Our mission is better served by focusing on individual needs above those of any government or political faction…Besides, if we were going to voluntarily freeze financial accounts of residents of countries unjustly attacking and provoking violence around the world, Step 1 would be to freeze all U.S. accounts. As a practical matter, that’s not really a viable business option for us.”

Ultimately, we are watching the divergence of two financial systems. The legacy infrastructure is built and run by a group of financial firms who are susceptible to the whims of their governments. The new infrastructure is built on open-source software that is run by no single individual or organization. The decentralized nature leads to a different outcome in these situations.

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