Binance is draining crypto to the Seychelles
Who bought the Russian business of the company.
Crypto exchange Binance announced its departure from Russia and the sale of its Russian business to the new crypto exchange CommEX, created just the day before, on September 26. At the beginning of the month, after yet another restriction by the exchange, Russian Binance users were subjected to a massive attack by hackers. What will happen to the assets of Russians and which exchanges continue to cooperate with Russia in 2023?
Why Binance is leaving Russia
One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of trading volume, Binance, after a number of restrictions on activities for Russians, decided to completely leave the domestic market by selling its business. This first became known at the end of August: the American The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source, that the company was considering this option. One of the reasons for the sale of the business is the threat of sanctions from the United States, experts believe.
“As we look to the future, we recognize that operating in Russia is inconsistent with Binance’s compliance strategy,” Chief Compliance Officer Noah Perlman said in a statement.
The buyer of Binance’s Russian assets will be the new crypto exchange CommEX, the transition process will take a year, the exchange said in a statement. As part of the agreement, the exchange will completely cease its activities in Russia without the right to receive part of the profit after the sale and without the possibility of repurchasing shares. “All assets of existing Russian users are safe and secure,” Binance assured.
The departure of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange from the Russian Federation and the sale of the Russian business CommEX is a negative situation for users, but there should not be critical consequences, explained BitRiver financial analyst Vladislav Antonov, noting that it will be necessary to adapt to new realities.
What is known about the CommEX crypto exchange that bought Binance assets
The new crypto exchange CommEX is registered in the Seychelles and is focused on working with the CIS countries and Asia, as well as with users from Crimea. The exchange allows you to top up your wallet in rubles and all the most valuable cryptocurrencies. The company promises to increase liquidity and gradually add new coins. They also promise to add the ability to replenish and withdraw funds to cards of Russian banks in the near future.
The platform opened the day before, on September 26, 2023, and has an official Russian-language chat in Telegram. However, there are no applications for iOS and Android yet; they are promised to be released in the near future. Representatives of the company also promise to answer all user questions with a special message and assure that the money of Binance users remains completely safe. The wallet numbers will be different from those on Binance.
The limit on withdrawals without verification (KYC) is set at 2 BTC. At the same time, KYC is required only for p2p and fiat transactions. The latter are not yet operational, but will be launched in the near future. Futures commissions will be 0.02% and 0.07% for makers and takers, respectively.
What is Binance, when did the exchange come to Russia, restrictions for Russians
Binance was founded in 2017, and in 2018 it already entered Russia, taking a leading position in the market by mid-2021. The company noted the “hyperactivity” of the Russian crypto community. The new CommEX also confirms that the Russian crypto market is in the top 3.
In the first days after the start of the SVO in Ukraine, Binance experienced an explosive growth in ruble trading against the backdrop of sanctions. However, subsequently the company began to introduce restrictions against Russians. For example, already in April 2022, Binance prohibited residents of the Russian Federation from holding more than €10 thousand on the exchange and demanded that all excess be withdrawn within 90 days. However, in practice, to save the wallet, it was enough to present any document stating that the user does not live in Russia.
In June 2022, unconfirmed information appeared in foreign media that the exchange could provide Russian investigators with data on those who transferred money to Alexei Navalny (included by Rosfinmonitoring in the register of organizations and individuals involved in extremist activities or terrorism). The company denied this information.
In March 2023, Binance closed the purchase and sale of dollars and euros through the p2p service for Russians, explaining this by the adoption of the tenth package of EU sanctions. And at the end of August 2023, Binance prohibited users from Russia from conducting transactions with any currency other than the ruble through the p2p platform. As BitRiver financial analyst Vladislav Antonov explained, this ban primarily affected those who used the service to withdraw funds abroad.
In September 2023, Russian users of crypto exchanges, and primarily Binance, were subjected to a massive attack by hackers. The activity of cybercriminals has increased after the financial platform introduced new restrictions against Russians.
Despite the departure of the largest operator, Russians will not be left without the cryptocurrency market, although access to it may become more expensive and more complicated. It will also become more difficult to buy some exotic coins. “In general, the market will remain, but will become less “global”, because CommEX is unlikely to retain all the functionality of Binance. Rather, it will be a localized product with an emphasis on the Russian market,” explained Vladislav Antonov.
In addition to Binance, there are many other large exchanges, such as OKX, Bybit, Huobi, the expert previously clarified. These exchanges still operate in Russia and allow p2p transactions in any currencies, including dollars and euros. You can buy USDT for rubles. A large list of exchanges can be sorted by parameters and viewed on the CoinMarketCap portal.
“Next, we need to open the latest regulations of other exchanges and look for new ways to transfer fiat via P2P. You can transfer cryptocurrency from one exchange to another and withdraw it from places where the ban has not yet been introduced,” the expert clarified.