Changpeng Zhao has said that Binance, the company of which he is CEO, will comply with regulations targeting various Russian businessmen. Zhao, however, says that the company will not extend restrictions to all Russian users.
Zhao claims that it would be something “unethical for us to do.” The CEO of the crypto exchange says that such measures should not be taken unilaterally. In other words, Zhan has confirmed there will be no full-scale Russian ban from Binance.
Various Russian businessmen, dubbed oligarchs, are targetted with sanctions. These come in an attempt to stop Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The military actions began last week and are ongoing.
Zhao believes that most Russian users don’t support the aggression against Ukraine. He added that “the least vulnerable groups of people” have little influence on international affairs. He also noted that a blanket ban could drive legitimate Russian users towards smaller, more compliant trading platforms.
Zhao stated that Binance applies the same rules and regulations as banks. He also said that most banks are following the same sanctions list as Binance.
The CEO stated that the entire exchange is based on identity verification. This would not allow sanctioned Russian oligarchs to trade anonymously on Binance. Binance has recently increased its KYC requirements.
Zhao stated that he does not know the number of accounts Binance has frozen so far, but that Binance’s compliance staff is responsible for enforcing these measures.
Crypto-exchanges take stance on Russia sanctions
Many of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, including Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase have not yet implemented a blanket ban on Russian clients. There have been calls from the Ukrainian government for them to do so. The exchanges, however, promised to screen all users and ban anyone who is subject to sanctions.
Crypto exchanges claimed that cutting off whole nations would be against bitcoin’s ethos. These principles involve allowing for payments without government oversight.
Anti-money laundering experts warned that the exchanges could be allowing Russians to transfer money abroad. Doing so could undermine Western efforts to press Russia to stop the war, they claimed.