- Binance has exited the Russian market by selling its business to CommEX
- The exchange said Russia is “not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy”
- CommEX only launched on Tuesday
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is leaving the Russian market by selling its business in the country to a newly launched platform, CommEX. The exchange giant announced its intention to cease all operations in Russia yesterday, stating that operating in the country is “not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy” and has sold its assets to CommEX without retaining any ongoing revenue shares or buyback options. This decision follows recent reports that Binance helped customers move funds from sanctioned Russian banks.
First Napoleon, then Hitler, Now CZ
The news of Binance leaving Russia is not necessarily a surprise, but the manner in which it has done so has caught many off guard, given that CommEX only launched on Tuesday. The company says that it is backed by an unnamed “top-tier crypto venture capital” firm, leading to some cracking memes around the subject:
— Googly (👀,) (@0xG00gly) September 27, 2023
Binance has been accused of playing a crucial role in facilitating money transfers for Russians who left the country following the Ukraine invasion, as many Russian banks faced restrictions from international payment systems. The exchange had relatively few restrictions for its Russian clients, although it did ban direct rouble-to-dollar or rouble-to-euro deals. It recently lifted the €10,000 asset limit imposed on Russian accounts.
Russia is “Not Compatible” With Binance’s Values
The migration of Russian Binance users to the new platform is expected to take up to a year, while the founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, told customers that those holding Binance’s BNB coin would receive a 25% trading fee discount on CommEX.
Noah Perlman, Binance’s chief compliance officer, said in a statement, “As we look toward the future, we recognise that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy.”
Despite regulatory investigations and lawsuits against Binance and its owner, the exchange remains the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. It faces legal challenges from US regulatory authorities, including allegations of illegal access to US customers and securities law violations. Binance has expressed disappointment and pledged to contest these lawsuits.