Binance Banned by Russian Telecoms Regulator?

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  • Binance appears to have been banned by Russia’s telecoms regulator
  • The exchange announced that it had been informed its site contained “information prohibited for distribution in Russia”
  • Russian crypto holders may find themselves imprisoned if they fail to declare cryptocurrency holdings

Binance appears to have been banned in Russia after the Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor added the website to the register of domains issuing “prohibited” information. The announcement, made in Binance’s Russian Telegram group yesterday, referred specifically to the trading of Bitcoin on the site and follows the news that Russians not declaring cryptocurrency holdings could fail a prison sentence and is another example of the country cracking down on decentralized cryptocurrency usage.

Russia Expands Crypto Clampdown

Russia has never exactly been a fan of cryptocurrency, but recent months have seen it take steps to actively harm the spread of the technology. Six months ago the Bank of Russia’s legal department director Alexei Guznov said that cryptocurrency carried an “unjustified risk” to investors, although this didn’t stop crypto trading in Russia jumping during the coronavirus lockdown earlier in the year.

This growth in use may have prompted the government into action however, seeing as just last month a ban was introduced that stopped anonymous cryptocurrency wallet deposits – everyone adding to their bags had to do it through fully avenues that demanded full KYC.

In light of this action it didn’t come as a surprise when news of a draft bill emerged that demanded all holders of cryptocurrency wallets report their holdings or face a spell in jail. These draconian measures were just being digested by Russian crypto users when Binance reported their news yesterday.

Binance Reassures Users…For Now

According to Roskomnadzor, the Binance website has been added to a register of sites considered to contain “information prohibited for distribution in Russia”, which Binance says came in the wake of a letter that the ban was in regards to “the possibility of acquiring electronic cryptocurrency (Bitcoin)”.

Regardless of the ban, Binance has said that it will continue to “provide services to Russian users in full” and assured them that their funds were safe. This will no doubt come as a relief to Russian Binance users, although how long it will remain the case for is now up in the air.