Following the latest round of EU restrictions against Russia, digital asset exchange Binance is restricting its services to Russian clients. The company pledged to lead the industry in implementing the sanctions and urged all major trading platforms to do the same.

Crypto exchange Binance cuts services for Russian accounts in accordance with EU penalties

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, is restricting services to Russian nationals or individuals residing in Russia and legal entities domiciled in the Russian Federation who have crypto assets worth over €10,000 ($10,800).

The move is in line with the European Union’s fifth package of sanctions against Russia, the company said in an announcement on Thursday. In early April, EU member states agreed to ban the provision of “high-value” crypto-asset services to Russian businesses and citizens in response to Moscow’s ongoing military invasion of Ukraine.

Binance now requires customers to complete their address verification. Accounts falling under this restriction will be placed on withdrawal-only mode, the exchange explained, and their holders will not be allowed to make deposits or trade. The same applies to spot, futures, custody wallets, as well as staked and earned deposits.

In addition, all deposits to accounts held by Russian nationals and residents or legal entities resident in Russia with a value over €10,000 will be restricted. Users with open futures/derivatives positions whose balances exceed this amount have 90 days to close them and cannot open new positions.

At the same time, accounts held by Russian nationals residing outside the Russian Federation and by Russian citizens, residents and companies in Russia that remain below the €10,000 threshold will not be affected and will remain active, Binance noted.

“While these measures are potentially restrictive for ordinary Russian citizens, Binance must continue to lead the industry in implementing these sanctions. We believe that all other major exchanges will soon have to follow the same rules,” the company said.

Reactions to the conflict in Ukraine have varied among crypto exchanges. While major South Korean platforms restricted access by Russians days after invading their country, leading global platforms including Binance rejected a request by the Kyiv government to unilaterally freeze the accounts of all Russian users.

Earlier in March, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told Bloomberg the exchange was freezing the accounts of sanctioned Russian individuals, but insisted it was “unethical” to bar all Russians from accessing the platform. The executive also dismissed concerns that cryptocurrencies could help Moscow bypass Western sanctions.

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Accounts, Binance, Citizen, Conflict, Crypto, Crypto Exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, EU, Europe, European Union, Stock Exchange, Nationals, Residents, Restrictions, Russian, Russians, Sanctions, Ukraine, War

Do you expect other cryptocurrency exchanges to comply with European Union sanctions against Russia? Let us know in the comment section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

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