Dapper Labs, the Vancouver-based company behind Flow blockchain, has suspended Russian accounts following the sanctions imposed on Russia and Russian nationals by the European Union on Thursday.
Dapper Labs stated in a press release:
“It is now prohibited to provide crypto-asset wallet, account, or custody services of any value to accounts with connections to Russia. However, Dapper has not closed the accounts.”
What the suspension means
Besides Flow blockchain, Dapper Labs specializes in non-fungible token (NFT) collectables. It has launched several NFT collectables including the famous Cryptokitties, Cheeze Wizards, and NBA Top Shot.
Dapper Labs was directed to take action on Russian accounts by its payment processing and store value partner which is subject to European Union regulations.
The Russians impacted by the suspension will not be able to buy, sell, or gift UFC Strike, NBA Top Shot, and NFL All Day NFT collectables. They shall not also be able to withdraw funds from their Dapper accounts or buy anything with their account balances.
The Russian users will however be able to still access accounts and view the digital assets that they purchased. Dapper maintained that the affected users still retain their ownership rights over the assets that they had purchased although they cannot sell them.
“Regardless of this new regulation, any NFT previously purchased by an impacted user continues to belong to that user. Any Moments you own and any Dapper Balance continue to be your property.”
Through its UFC Strike NFT collection, Dapper allowed the sale of NFTs related to Russian fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov who have participated in the UFC.
The updated sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals are an escalation of the previous sanctions established in April, especially on crypto.
The existing prohibitions on crypto assets have been tightened by banning crypto services regardless of a wallet’s value. The wallet value was previously capped at €10,000.
Last week, Russia also took steps to restrict crypto transactions and backlisted OKX, which is one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges.
More crypto and web3 companies are expected to follow suit with restrictions following the updated EU sanctions.