Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced its decision to discontinue support for Russian ruble (RUB) trading pairs. It will take place on its platform until January 31, 2024. This change is part of Binance’s exit plan from the Russian market, following the sale of its local division to CommEX.
Earlier this year, Binance sold its Russian exchange to local firm CommEX after facing investigations by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The investigations revolved around alleged facilitation of transactions with sanctioned Russian entities following the invasion of Ukraine.
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The decision is part of Binance’s exit strategy from the Russian market after the sale of its local division to CommEX
However, despite the sale of the Russian division, Binance continued to allow ruble trading on its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform. So now, the exchange is completely ending support for RUB as part of its efforts to comply with regulations more broadly.
Users will still have the option to perform fee-free ruble trades on CommEX using their Binance accounts. Before the closing deadline, Binance will allow users to withdraw their rubles through fiat partners. They can also convert into cryptocurrencies or trade on the Binance spot market.
Binance faced investigations from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
Thus, this decision to remove support for the Russian ruble is another step by Binance to reduce its Russia-related services amid increasing international sanctions. Regulators around the world have been pressuring major centralized cryptocurrency exchanges to strengthen anti-money laundering measures and avoid sanctions violations.
Binance has recently faced significant regulatory challenges. In November 2023, the exchange agreed to pay $3.4 billion in fines to OFAC due to alleged violations of various sanctions programs. As part of the agreement, Binance committed to implementing comprehensive corrective measures. This includes enhanced compliance policies and procedures, as well as requiring all users to go through the KYC process and regular customer reviews.
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