Binance allegedly maintains ties with blacklisted Russian banks despite Western sanctions: WSJ
Binance has recently faced heavy regulatory scrutiny across several jurisdictions, particularly in the West.
According to an Aug. 22 Wall Street Journal report, Binance continues to process transactions for at least five Russian lenders blacklisted by Western powers
Per the report, Russian customers are able to conduct peer-to-peer trading on Binance, using any of the five Russian lenders, including Tinkoff Bank and Rosbank, to settle payments.
WSJ further reported that Binance volunteers, popularly called Binance Angels, had been telling people on Telegram that the exchange does not have trading restrictions on Russian clients.
This aligns with a prior CryptoSlate report stating that Binance removed the €10,000 limit previously imposed on Russian accounts.
The report contradicts Binance’s public statement about its operations in the heavily sanctioned country. Last year, the exchange, citing E.U.’s sanctions imposed strict sanctions on Russians with assets exceeding €10,000 on its platform.
Binance was yet to respond to CryptoSlate’s request for comment as of press time.
Binance regulatory struggles
This report will further complicate Binance’s relationship with regulators, which is currently frayed at best. The exchange has found it difficult to operate in several European jurisdictions, leading to its withdrawal from countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Cyprus.
It also faces legal challenges in North America, leading to its withdrawal from Canada and legal actions from the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
There are reports that the US Department of Justice might be preparing a criminal action against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, for violating US anti-money laundering laws.
Several of its key executives have exited with the wave of regulatory pressures facing the exchange. Although Binance and some of these executives claim they left for other reasons, many believe they left due to legal troubles.
The legal challenges facing Binance have also led to its native token, BNB seeing a major drop in value. BNB is now at its lowest price in more than a year as it trades at $206 and is at risk of going below $200.