Bitcoin

Binance fully exits Russia with sale to CommEX

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced its full exit from Russia by selling its firm to a newly launched crypto exchange business known as CommEX.

Binance has entered into an agreement to sell the entirety of its Russia business to CommEX, the firm said in an announcement to Cointelegraph on Sept. 27. The exchange didn’t disclose the financial details of the deal.

To ensure a smooth process for existing Russian users, the off-boarding process will take up to one year, the announcement reads. “All assets of existing Russian users are safe and securely protected,” Binance noted.

“As we look toward the future, we recognize that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy,” Binance chief compliance officer Noah Perlman said, adding:

“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 will ensure to provide its customers with an orderly process for the migration of users. In cooperation with CommEX, Binance will inform users how to migrate their assets to the newly created exchange.

The user migration process will allow a portion of Russian users with completed Know Your Customer checks to be immediately redirected to CommEX. Binance will gradually sunset its platform in Russia over the next several months.

“Every effort will be made to maintain a smooth user experience during this transition,” Binance stated in the announcement.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also noted that holders of Binance’s native token, BNB (BNB), will “continue to enjoy” a 25% trading discount on CommEX.

The announcement emphasized that Binance will fully exit Russia and will have no ties with the exchange, stating:

“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.”

The news comes just a day after CommEX announced its launch on Sept. 26. The platform is designed to provide cryptocurrency trading services, including spot, futures and peer-to-peer trading. The platform seems to be targeting mostly Russian users at launch, as its interface is only available in Russian and English at the time of writing.

Related: Crypto exchange Binance reopens exchange services in Belgium

Binance has been preparing its departure from Russia for a while now, as the exchange has been facing major regulatory challenges related to compliance with Western sanctions against Russia. But despite regulatory pressure, Binance was still promoting its services for Russian users as of August 2023. The exchange eventually had its top Russian executives leaving the firm in early September.

As previously reported, Russia is apparently one of the biggest markets for Binance. According to data from SimilarWeb, Russia is the top market in terms of user visits for the website Binance.com, accounting for 6.9% of total visits at the time of writing.

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