Former Binance employees may have joined Russia successor CommEX: CZ

Quick Take

  • Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said that a few former CIS team members may join — or have joined — CommEX.

Binance, which announced Wednesday its Russia business sale to CommEX, said a few former Binance employees have joined the newly launched exchange. Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said in a post today on X (formerly Twitter), that some former Binance cryptography and information security team members may join CommEX “or have already done so.”

Zhao’s comment comes after the world’s largest crypto exchange said that it has decided to fully exit Russia and sell its business there to CommEX — a crypto exchange that only officially launched on Tuesday.

In response to questions and doubt that emerged in the crypto community concerning the similarities of the user interface between the two exchanges, Zhao said that Binance asked for it. “Their design, APIs, etc are similar to Binance. We asked for this to ensure a smooth user experience,” Zhao wrote in the post. 

Blocking US and EU users

Zhao said that CommEX does not service users from the United States or the European Union. “They have IP and KYC blocks. This is a term we asked for in the deal,” he added.

Zhao also pointed out that he is not the ultimate beneficial owner of CommEX, and he does not own any shares in the new exchange. “The deal does not have any buy back options,” he continued. “A Google search seem to show some businesses like Mercedes, McDonalds, Nissan have buy back options in their Russia sell off deal. This is not the case here.”


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During the transition period, Zhao explained that there will be crypto transfers between Binance and CommEX as users migrate with their funds. “There are also older transactions during the testing phase of the integrations. This is expected,” he said.

In a statement published Tuesday, CommEX said it offers "a wide range of product suites including Spot, Futures, Simple Futures and P2P service to engage with the world of cryptocurrency."

A question of ownership

There still remain many questions about CommEX. The exchange has no information about who owns it or who is running it. The only information it provides is an email (of which we received no response about its ownership) and a mention that any legal disputes would be held in Hong Kong. Binance also refused to answer questions about its ownership, but denied that the exchange uses the same underlying technology as Binance.

According to a page on Binance-owned CoinMarketCap, CommEX described itself as a "rapidly expanding cryptocurrency exchange, backed by top-tier crypto VCs," but it does not name them.

© 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.