Binance Crypto Exchange to Sell Its Russia Business to CommEX for Undisclosed Amount

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance said on Wednesday it will sell its Russia business to newly-launched exchange CommEX, becoming the latest company to pull out of Moscow since the country began its war against Ukraine.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, did not disclose financial details of the deal. The company said it will have no ongoing revenue split from the sale, nor will it maintain an option to buy back shares in the business.

«As we look toward the future, we recognise that operating in Russia is not compatible with Binance’s compliance strategy,» Chief Compliance Officer Noah Perlman said, without referring to the war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a «special military operation.»

Binance also said that all the assets of its existing Russian users were safe and that there will be an orderly process for the migration of users. The divestment process will take up to one year, it added.

CommEX is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange backed by crypto venture capitalists, according to its website. The company only launched its exchange on Tuesday. It did not respond to a request for comment on the Binance deal.

Many Western companies, including the likes of Renault, Shell, McDonald’s and others, have agreed to sell their Russian assets or hand them over to local managers to take action to comply with sanctions over the war in Ukraine and deal with threats from the Kremlin that foreign-owned assets may be seized.

Last month, Mastercard announced that the company and Binance exchange would end their four crypto card programmes in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain as of September 22. The Binance cards allow users to make payments in traditional currencies, funded by their cryptocurrency holdings on the exchange.

Binance is also facing legal and regulatory challenges. US regulators sued the crypto exchange and its CEO Changpeng Zhao in June for allegedly operating a «web of deception.» Binance has said it would defend itself «vigorously.»

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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