Binance’s peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchange in Russia has come under scrutiny for its continued facilitation of transactions through sanctioned banks, despite denying any relationships with banks. Local news sources recently reported that Binance P2P has renamed some of its payment options for withdrawals and deposits involving sanctioned Russian banks like Tinkoff and Rosbank. The exchange replaced the banks’ names with terms like “Yellow” and “Green” cards. This move has raised concerns about Binance’s compliance with Western sanctions against Russia.
The renaming of payment options came shortly after The Wall Street Journal published a report stating that Binance offered Russian clients the option to use five sanctioned Russian banks, including Rosbank and Tinkoff, for processing payments. In response to the report, Binance executives denied any relationships with banks in Russia or elsewhere in relation to its P2P platform. The company stated that it follows global sanctions rules and enforces sanctions on blacklisted actors, denying them access to the platform.
Interestingly, Binance’s services in Russia were recently promoted on the YouTube channel of a major Russian YouTuber, Yuri Dud. In a video on his vDud YouTube channel, Dud featured an advertisement for Binance services and offered 5 USDT in exchange for signing up on the platform. The video also promoted Binance Earn, which allows users to earn passive income on crypto through various products.
The latest news regarding Binance’s facilitation of transactions through sanctioned banks raises questions about its compliance with Western sanctions against Russia. In February, the European Council sanctioned Russian banks like Tinkoff and Rosbank as part of its 10th package of sanctions on Russia’s war against Ukraine. The United States also imposed sanctions on Tinkoff in May.
It’s worth noting that Binance is not the only cryptocurrency exchange facilitating such transactions in Russia. Other major P2P exchanges like Huobi and OKX also allow transfers with Tinkoff and Rosbank, as well as Sberbank. However, these exchanges have not provided immediate comments on the matter.
Binance representatives declined to comment on their ads on Yuri Dud’s YouTube channel or their current services in Russia. They referred to their previous statement in The Wall Street Journal report and declined further commentary. The company has also not responded to inquiries about the renaming of sanctioned banks to “Yellow” and “Green” cards.
This situation comes at a time when Binance is facing further scrutiny. The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly launched an investigation into Binance for allowing Russians to use the exchange in violation of U.S. sanctions. However, it’s important to note that Binance has not been the sole exchange involved in these transactions, as other exchanges like Huobi and OKX have also facilitated them.
In conclusion, Binance’s P2P cryptocurrency exchange in Russia continues to facilitate transactions through sanctioned banks, despite denying relationships with banks. The renaming of these banks’ payment options has raised concerns about the exchange’s compliance with Western sanctions. The situation also coincides with Binance facing scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice. The involvement of other exchanges in these transactions further highlights the need for regulatory oversight in the cryptocurrency industry.