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Binance CEO CZ responds to Euro Decision on Russian Users

The global cryptocurrency exchange looks to navigate a changing landscape as the EU moves to restrict the flow of money for Russians further.

Binance Imposes Crypto Sanctions

Following the European Union’s (EU) fifth package of sanctions against Russia, global cryptocurrency exchange Binance moved to limit its services and offerings to Russian nationals, persons residing in Russia, and legal entities that hold crypto-assets valued above 10,000 Euros (EUR). 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, formally known as CZ, released a series of tweets explaining the exchange's decision. CZ notes in his tweets that while the exchange should not be unilaterally taking restrictive actions against any users, they committed to following international sanctions imposed by the global community. Binance users will have to complete a proof-of-address verification, and any accounts that fall within the restrictive guidelines will be limited to withdrawals only. 

“The EU has now taken a historic aggressive action and placed a €10,000 cap on every Russian-resident user wallet,” said CZ. “Binance gave its word to the global community that we would implement any and all sanctions actions, and we are living up to that commitment.” 

The decision means that no new accounts can be created, no deposits made, and users will lose access to staking and earned options. With that being said, users with a balance below the 10K Euro threshold will remain unaffected. Users who exceed the threshold will be given 90 days to close out their positions, and no new positions can be opened. 

Business as Usual

Binance has been playing a balancing act in Eastern European amidst the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, CZ was repeatedly questioned about the exchange’s role as a global player, given international concerns that Russian users were circumventing sanctions using crypto. CZ illustrated how Binance supports Ukrainians via charitable donations through the UN and the Red Cross. In the interview, CZ reiterated that Binance cannot be a unilateral decision maker for who gets banned from accessing the platform. However, Binance reiterated it will follow any sanctions imposed. 

Source 

On the other hand, Michael Chobanian, the founder of Ukraine’s KUNA exchange, put out a public challenge to Binance, saying the exchange is working with Russia rather than against and the donations promised have mostly gone undelivered. The sweeping claims have not been substantiated as of this writing. Binance’s charity work in the region can be tracked here

From an expansionary perspective, it's business as usual for Binance. In January of this year, Binance staffed two senior director positions in both Ukraine and Russia. Time will ultimately tell how the war will play out in Ukraine and how cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance will navigate the changing landscape. 

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