It is unclear if the restrictions are temporary or going to stay. According to a Binance representative, the exchange was considering all options in regard to the Russian market, including a “full exit”.
Crypto exchange Binance has introduced new restrictions for Russian clients. In particular, the company has barred Russian users from conducting peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in any fiat currencies other than the Russian ruble. The revised conditions of using Binance services on the Russian market have also included a ban for Russian nationals residing outside the country to access key global currencies, including the euro, the US dollar, and the Turkish lira, for their trades.
Gamers were the first to notice an issue with transactions. They were not able to get Turkish lira to make purchases in Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox game stores.
To be authorized to transact in the Russian ruble, users must meet two key requirements: undergo a complete Russian Know Your Customer verification process and provide verifiable proof of residence within Russia.
Binance made an official announcement on its Telegram channel. Many users have expressed their disappointment and lashed out at Binance, however, the company did not provide any comments. Therefore, it is unclear if the restrictions are temporary or going to stay. According to a Binance representative, the exchange was considering all options in regard to the Russian market, including a “full exit”.
In March 2023, Binance barred Russians from buying and selling US dollars and euros via P2P service, citing another package of sanctions against Russia from the European Union.
Notably, despite all the restrictions imposed by Binance for Russians, there were reports about the exchange running transactions in the country. Multiple sources stated that users were able to deposit Russian rubles, euros, British pounds, and other currencies using bank cards issued in the country. Additionally, the exchange removed the limits on balances of more than EUR 10,000 on Russia-linked accounts.
Earlier this year, Binance faced legal battles as a result of its hidden activity in Russia. In May, the US Department of Justice’s national security division started an investigation into whether Binance allowed Russian customers to access the exchange in violation of US sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Binance Finds Path Back to Belgium
Earlier, Binance also limited its transactions in Belgium following an order from the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) to stop offering crypto exchange and custody wallet services as a result of violations of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism requirements. However, Binance has found a solution. The company offered its Belgian users to be served by its Polish entity.
FSMA suggested Binance could operate in Belgium via a “legal entity governed by the law of another member state of the European Economic Area [EEA] that is duly authorized by its home member state”. Since Poland is included in the EEA, Binance can continue to provide its services in Belgium in compliance with the regulations.