Binance To Limit Services to Russians Following Latest Round of EU Sanctions

Derivatives bets for those who have account balances exceeding the threshold will be given 90 days to close their positions, Binance said


Binance’s Changpeng Zhao


key takeaways

  • A fresh round of EU sanctions included provisions to extend a prohibition on deposits to crypto wallets
  • Binance will restrict Russian nationals with holdings above 10,000 euros ($10,777) to withdrawal-only mode, it said

Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges by trade volume, said Thursday it will limit services to Russian customers in an attempt to honor the EU’s latest round of sanctions measures.

Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, as well as legal entities established in the country, with crypto exceeding a threshold of 10,000 euros ($10,777) will be put into a withdrawal-only mode, according to a blog post.

Accounts for Russian nationals residing outside Russia — who are able to prove with a verifiable address — as well as those below the crypto threshold, will remain unaffected.

Derivatives positions for those who have crypto account balances that exceed the threshold will be given 90 days to close out their positions, Binance said in its post. No new positions will be allowed to be added.

Previously hesitant about imposing restrictions on Russian nationals, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg last month his exchange would resist calls to limit services to “normal people.”

Binance’s move Thursday flies against its prior stance, as well as the position of other well-established exchanges including Kraken and Coinbase, as pressure mounts over ratcheted sanctions.

The EU’s latest round of sanctions includes a prohibition to purchase, import or transfer coal and other solid fossil fuels, a prohibition to provide access to EU ports and further export bans. It also includes a series of targeted economic measures, which includes an extended prohibition on deposits to crypto wallets.

“While these measures are potentially restrictive to normal Russian citizens, Binance must continue to lead the industry in implementing these sanctions,” Binance said in its post. “We believe all other major exchanges must follow the same rules soon.”

Earlier this month, the EU adopted its fifth round of sanctions against Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s invasion, which began Feb. 24, sparked global condemnation from the Western powers and triggered a flurry of economic sanctions aimed at imposing costs on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

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