Binance mulls ‘full exit’ from Russia as it fights allegations abroad

The world’s largest crypto exchange said Monday it was weighing options to leave Russia and has restricted trading pairs to the ruble only

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Binance is reportedly considering abandoning Russia’s domestic market as it attempts to navigate ongoing regulatory headwinds and compliance in the US and abroad.

Binance, currently tackling multiple lawsuits with US regulators, reportedly said Monday “All options are on the table, including a full exit,” according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson for the exchange declined Blockworks’ offer to comment on its decision to leave Russia as well as the steps it was taking to ensure it remained globally compliant.

The crypto exchange, the world’s largest, says it is taking steps to align itself with international sanctions following allegations it helped nationals move money abroad earlier this year.

Last year, initial measures were taken to block accounts belonging to Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

It also shuttered accounts from others connected to family members of top Russian officials, including those tied to Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 

Both moves followed sanctions against Kovaleva by the UK and Peskova by the US Treasury

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year drew sweeping denunciations from Western authorities, prompting a series of economic penalties targeting Putin’s administration.

Multiple rounds of sanctions from both the US and the EU have imposed bans on the acquisition, import, or transfer of coal and other solid fossil fuels. They also seek to restrict access to EU ports and expand existing export bans.

Despite restrictions being put in place to limit trader access, the exchange reportedly lifted them in April this year, allowing for the use of credit and debit cards tied to the country’s banks to purchase crypto in a range of currencies, excluding USD.

Binance has since narrowed down its peer-to-peer trading services for Russians, banning them from trading all currencies except the ruble, local media reported Monday.

Earlier this year Russian nationals and legal entities holding crypto in excess of 10,000 euros ($10,825) were also placed into withdrawal-only mode as Binance sought compliance with the EU.


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