Despite being under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for potential violations of U.S. sanctions in Russia, Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has made headlines for its naming approach to barred Russian banks on its platform.
Renaming Sanctioned Banks
Binance’s peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchange in Russia has faced scrutiny for facilitating transactions involving sanctioned banks like Rosbank, despite earlier denials of any bank relationships. Recent reports reveal that Binance P2P has renamed these banks, referring to them as “Yellow” and “Green” cards, a move confirmed by Cointelegraph.
Earlier denials by Binance executives of any bank relationships in Russia have come under question, especially after The Wall Street Journal’s report that Binance provided Russian clients with sanctioned bank options for payment processing. Binance emphasized its adherence to global sanctions rules, but questions remain about its involvement with these banks.
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The controversy surrounding Binance’s Russian operations was further heightened when prominent Russian YouTuber Yuri Dud promoted Binance services to his 10.3 million subscribers. Binance services, including Binance Earn, were featured in the video, raising concerns about potential compliance with Western sanctions against Russia.
Binance is not the sole exchange implicated in such transactions in Russia. Other major P2P crypto platforms, including Huobi and OKX, also enable transactions involving these sanctioned banks. However, Binance’s unique naming approach has drawn attention to the issue.
Uncertainty Amidst Sanctions
The situation raises questions about the alignment of Binance’s actions with Western sanctions against Russia, especially given the European Council’s and the United States’ sanctions against these banks earlier this year.
Binance representatives declined to comment on the matter of renaming the sanctioned banks as “Yellow” and “Green” cards. They pointed to previous comments made in the WSJ report and indicated that no further comments would be provided at this time.