Binance mulls exiting Russian market
The company previously attracted criticism for supporting sanctioned Russian banks.
In a statement quoted by the newspaper, one Binance representative said that “all options are on the table, including a full exit.”
News of the potential Russian exit comes alongside an update to the company’s Russian Telegram channel announcing several new rules for P2P exchange users. Binance stated that Russian users can now trade on the P2P platform in fiat currency in rubles (RUB) only and that this option is restricted to KYC-verified users residing in Russia.
Furthermore, the new rules state that users who reside outside of Russia can no longer trade rubles on the P2P exchange. Those users are also barred from trading with the euro (EUR), the U.S. dollar (USD), and the Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH).
It also appears that rubles are no longer an option for non-Russian users. When CryptoSlate accessed Binance’s P2P platform without an account from a U.S. location, rubles were not listed as an option. The platform nevertheless listed one Russia-based trader who relied on non-ruble currencies at a foreign bank.
Binance’s Russia controversies are ongoing
Previously, Binance attracted controversy because it offered support for certain sanctioned Russian banks on its P2P platform. The company removed five of those banks on Aug. 25 but continued to offer support for various other Russian payment options. About 16 banks and payment channels were listed as available at that time.
Separate reports from the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 22 suggested that Russian users conducted $428 million in Binance P2P trades between October and March. That report also said that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Binance over possible sanctions violations, in line with earlier reports dating back to May.
Current controversies primarily concern Binance’s P2P exchange rather than its main exchange. Binance imposed account limits on its main exchange in April 2022 to comply with sanctions against Russia; it has since lifted those restrictions without controversy.
Binance had no additional comments at press time.