Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the exchange is in compliance with sanctions but will not ban all Russian users. Zhao has clarified the company’s policies towards Russia, contending that a complete prohibition on Russian users would be “unethical.”
Binance won’t ban all Russian users
According to a Bloomberg interview, Zhao said Binance follows sanctions that restrict Russian citizens’ financial activity. He also stated that it would be “unethical” for Binance to extend its measures beyond those who have been sanctioned.
“I just think it’s just not our decision to make to freeze user accounts. It is not for us to unilaterally freeze some Russian citizens’ bank accounts.”
Many Russian people, according to Zhao, are against their country’s involvement in Ukraine. He questioned whether a wide prohibition would drive genuine Russian users to smaller, less-compliant exchanges:
“The most vulnerable groups of people have little impact on international affairs.”
Whether or not sanctioned Russian oligarchs could use Binance to trade anonymously, Zhao stated that his entire exchange is dependent on identification verification. Despite the fact that Binance initially only required modest KYC standards, it has added extra security measures in August 2021.
Zhao stated that he is not aware of how many Binance accounts have been frozen to date and that the compliance team at Binance is in charge of enforcing the rules.
Other crypto exchanges also follow sanctions
Previously, Binance and its representatives have made more restrained comments on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and sanctions. The company told CNBC that:
“We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts.”
Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, also weighed in on the issue at that time. Powell stated that, unless it was required by law, Kraken could not freeze user assets.
On Tuesday, Coinbase said that it would not implement a blanket prohibition on all Coinbase purchases made with Russian addresses.
Ukraine also asked six exchanges to prevent Russian financial activity, those include Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, Gate.io, Whitebit and Kuna.