Amid heightened regulatory scrutiny, Binance is contemplating the withdrawal of its operations from Russia, a country that is under international sanctions. This development follows the crypto exchange’s decision to remove multiple Russian banks, which are under sanctions, from its peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform. Additionally, it has limited the available payment methods for traders based in Russia.
Potential Complete Exit from Russia, Confirms Binance Spokesperson
Binance, the preeminent global digital asset exchange, is in the process of reassessing its business operations in Russia, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The review encompasses the consideration of a full disengagement from Russia, which has been a significant market for the cryptocurrency leader. A company representative indicated to the media outlet:
“The possibility of a complete withdrawal is being seriously considered.”
This revelation arrives on the heels of another Wall Street Journal report from the previous week, which insinuated that Binance might be legally liable for aiding Russians in the illegal transfer of funds overseas. Despite these allegations, the exchange has maintained that it has been in compliance with Western sanctions regulations since the previous year.
Subsequent to the report, Binance took steps to reclassify the bank cards from Russia’s Sberbank and Tinkoff that were listed as payment options on its P2P trading platform, according to Russian cryptocurrency media. Ultimately, all banks facing sanctions were entirely delisted from the platform.
In May of the current year, it was disclosed by Bloomberg that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Binance for facilitating transactions involving at least five sanctioned Russian banks. These institutions have been sanctioned due to penalties and restrictions imposed by the U.S. and its allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Binance Curtails Access to Foreign Currencies for Russian Clients
On a related note, RBC Crypto reported this Monday that Binance has prohibited users in Russia from executing transactions via its P2P platform using any foreign currencies other than the Russian ruble. This includes currencies such as the U.S. dollar, euro, and Ukrainian hryvnia.
The report cited an announcement on Binance’s Telegram channel, which stated: “Only users who have completed Russian Know Your Customer (RU KYC) verification and are residing in Russia are permitted to trade in the Russian ruble on Binance’s P2P platform. All other foreign currencies are expressly forbidden.”
Meanwhile, Russian nationals residing outside the Russian Federation are not subject to this limitation, provided they have undergone identity verification and supplied proof of their current residence. These individuals can continue to engage in P2P trading on Binance using any foreign currency except the Russian ruble, euro, U.S. dollar, and Ukrainian hryvnia, as the company clarified.