Binance fully exits Russia amid legal risks, sells business to CommEX

Quick Take

  • Binance announced its full exit from Russia today, adding that the off-boarding process may take up to one year.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is fully exiting Russia as it continues to face legal risks in the country.

In a statement published today, Binance said that it has agreed to sell its Russia business to crypto exchange CommEX.

CommEX just officially launched on Tuesday, according to a separate statement. The newly launched exchange said that it offers "a wide range of product suites including Spot, Futures, Simple Futures and P2P service to engage with the world of cryptocurrency."

“As we look toward the future, we recognise that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance's compliance strategy,” Noah Perlman, Binance’s Chief Compliance Officer, said in the statement. “We remain confident in the long-term growth of the Web3 industry around the world and will focus our energy on the 100+ other countries in which we operate.” 

Binance added that all assets of existing Russian users are safe, and the off-boarding process may take up to one year. Binance said it will work with CommEX to migrate its assets to CommEX.

“Over the next several months, Binance will sunset all exchange services and business lines in Russia,” the exchange said. “Unlike similar deals from international companies in Russia, Binance will have no ongoing revenue split from the sale, nor does it maintain any option to buy back shares in the business,” it added.


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Binance's legal and regulatory trouble

Last month, Binance’s peer-to-peer service removed five sanctioned Russian lenders from its site that had previously given users the means to transfer rubles to each other.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Binance was helping people in Russia to move money abroad. That report came after U.S. Justice Department’s investigations into whether Binance had been used by Russians to evade U.S. sanctions, according to a Bloomberg report in May. 

Binance currently finds itself in the crosshairs of multiple U.S. regulators, with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission first filing a lawsuit against the firm in March. The Securities and Exchange Commission also sued the exchange and CEO Changpeng Zhao in June for allegedly violating securities laws.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Timmy Shen is an Asia reporter for The Block. Previously, he wrote about crypto and Web3 for Forkast.News from Taiwan after spending more than three years in Beijing covering finance and current affairs at Caixin Global and Chinese tech at TechNode. His China-related reporting has also appeared in The Guardian. When he's not chasing headlines, you'll find him savoring hot pot and shabu shabu in a Taipei local haunt. Timmy holds an MS degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Send tips to [email protected] or get in touch on X/Telegram @timmyhmshen.