The Russian authorities seem to be moving ahead with all guns firing after the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange – Binance. The Binance’s official website is now on the Russian list of banned websites. The announcement came from Binance on September 24th through its Telegram channel. According to the announcement said that Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecom regulator, has added Binance to the list of platforms that are disseminating secure and prohibited information. As per the announcement, Binance’s website was put on the list as it distributes the data associated with who is buying or selling the digital currencies.
The head of Binance’s Russia information, Gleb Kostarev, said that the company’s announcement was made as soon as it received the information from the telecom regulator. Even though the domain is currently on the list of prohibited sites in Russia, the users will still be able to use the website without using any other tools, such as a VPN. The Binance’s website was added to the prohibited site list on 2nd June, and its access is not completely revoked. The Binance’s executives said in a release that they didn’t receive any notification or information from the telecom authorities about the prohibition or restriction before September 24th.
The executive said in a statement that they were not notified by the law enforcement agencies, courts, or even the civil government before they receive the notification. They are already seeking legal aid to help them decide the next course of action. They also assured all of their Russian users that they would not face any problem in their services and that their fund was completely safe with them.
The announcement of Binance’s website getting blacklisted came in June 2020. But the news didn’t seem to be related to the company’s plan to launch a Russia-specific crypto debit card. It is because Binance plans to launch the card came a bit later, around September 2020. Around August, Roskomnadzor blacklisted another exchange BestChange.ru, which is a leading cryptocurrency-related website in the country. It provides aggregator services of more than 400 local crypto websites and exchanges.
Binance informed its users in Russia that it would continue to provide its services. The telecom authorities haven’t yet clarified whether they aim to completely stop Binance’s operations in the country or continue with the limited access for the time being. The speculations about the announcements are that Russia’s Finance Ministry is tightening the grip on the trade of digital assets and bring in newer and stricter regulations. As per Russia’s finance ministry, digital currencies are used massively for purposes such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and tax evasion. It is for this reason, Russian’s Ministry of Finance is looking to formulate and implement new regulations for closer monitoring of digital currencies related transactions.
In recent times, Russia has been the home of numerous scams related to cryptocurrencies. It has created clout among the average consumer, and it is clearly seen in a poll that was conducted in the country recently. As per the poll, only one of ten Russian is interested or would invest in cryptocurrencies. The new regulations are expected to make exchanges, such as Binance, report fund transfer of digital currencies to the government authorities when it involves a Russian user. The identification of the users can be traced back through the digital footprints and IP addresses.
Regulations have been one of the biggest hurdles that are standing in between cryptocurrencies and it achieving prominence in the mainstream financial world. When the regulations are in place, the common users would be able to trust the digital assets and exchanges. The authorities would be able to ensure there are no illegal activities taking place. However, due to the nature of the cryptocurrencies and its platform based on the trustless ledger, it may seem like the authorities have to work hard to formulate regulations that are transparent yet decentralized.