Latest EU sanctions force Binance to crack down on Russian users

Crypto exchange Binance is enforcing tougher Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for Russian users after the latest wave of European Union sanctions.

In a blog post today, Binance said that it will limit services for “Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, or legal entities established in Russia” with crypto holdings exceeding €10,000 (around $10,900), following the EU’s fifth package of anti-Russia restrictions. Users that fit this description will be made to complete a proof-of-address check.

Ukraine’s deputy minister of digital transformation Alex Bornyakov hailed the changes in a tweet. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who sees crypto as a “terrible” method of avoiding sanctions, has previously described blocking all Russians from using crypto exchanges as unethical.

Users that must now undergo checks in line with the new restrictions will be placed in “withdrawal-only mode,” according to the blog post — meaning no deposits or trading will be permitted.

“The limit also covers all spot, futures, custody wallets, and staked and earned deposits. In addition, all deposits to accounts for Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, or legal entities established in Russia with over €10,000 will be restricted,” the post continued.

Russians living outside the country who can verify their address and those within Russia but with less than €10,000 will be unaffected by the changes. Furthermore, Russian nationals and people and entities within the country whose holdings exceed the threshold and who have open futures and derivatives positions will be given 90 days to close them. They won’t be allowed to open new positions.

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