Crypto exchange Binance considers exiting Russia amid increased scrutiny over its services for users in the sanctioned nation. The news of the potential move comes after the exchange delisted several sanctioned Russian banks from its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform and restricted fiat payment options for Russian traders.
Full Russia Exit Is on the Table, Binance Representative Says
The world’s leading exchange for digital assets, , is currently reevaluating its Russian business, the Wall Street Journal reported. The process includes the possibility of a full withdrawal from what was an important market for the crypto giant. A spokesperson for the company told the publication:
All options are on the table, including a full exit.
The statement comes after a WSJ article suggested last week that Binance is facing legal risks over allegedly helping Russians move money abroad despite the platform claiming it has been abiding by Westerns sanctions rules since last year.
Following the publication of the piece, the exchange briefly renamed the bank cards of Russia’s Sberbank and Tinkoff that were listed among payment options on its P2P platform, as per Russian crypto media reports. Eventually, all sanctioned Russian banks were completely removed.
In May of this year, Bloomberg revealed that Binance is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allowing Russian customers to make transactions involving at least five sanctioned Russian banks. The financial institutions were placed under sanctions as part of penalties and restrictions imposed by the U.S. and its allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Binance Restricts Foreign Currency Transactions for Russian Users
On Monday, RBC Crypto reported that the largest crypto exchange has also banned users based in Russia from transacting through its P2P service with any fiat currency other than the Russian ruble, including U.S. dollar, euro, and Ukrainian hryvnia.
The Russian crypto news outlet quoted a message posted on Binance’s telegram channel informing that “Users residing in Russia can only trade fiat currency in rubles on Binance P2P. Any other fiat currencies are prohibited. The fiat currency RUB is now available only to users who have RU KYC and live in Russia.”
At the same time, Russian citizens living outside of the Russian Federation, who have passed identity verification and provided confirmation of their address can continue trading on Binance P2P with any fiat currency other than ruble, euro, dollar, and hryvnia, the company pointed out.
Do you think Binance will eventually leave the Russian market completely? Tell us in the comments section below.