Binance Reportedly Removes Restrictions on Russian Users – According to reports from local crypto media, Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, has removed some restrictions on its Russian users. Russian users can now deposit money on Binance using their bank cards, including Russian-issued Visa and Mastercard, as well as the country’s own Mir cards. The platform has also eliminated a balance limit that was implemented due to European sanctions.
According to the report, users can fund their Binance accounts via Qiwi, a Russian payment service, by choosing the ‘bank card’ option. The available fiat currencies include the Russian ruble, British pound, Turkish lira, and euro, but not the U.S. dollar. Binance ceased transactions with Russian-issued cards in March 2022, shortly after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.
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The restrictions were put in place after Visa and Mastercard suspended their operations in Russia as part of Western sanctions related to the conflict. “Conversion of rubles into cryptocurrency occurs without problems. For example, an order from rubles to USDT is made without commission,” Kod Durova wrote, noting that withdrawals to rubles are possible within limits varying between 4,300 and 200,000 rubles (close to $2,500).
Russian crypto media reported last week, citing Binance’s technical support, that the exchange has eliminated the €10,000 ($11,000) limit on Russian accounts. The limit was implemented in April 2022 to comply with the European Union’s fifth package of sanctions. As part of its eighth package of sanctions, the European Union implemented a complete ban in October on providing any wallet, account, or custody services for crypto assets to Russian individuals and residents.
While there has been no official statement regarding the reported lifting of the aforementioned limit, a Binance support agent confirmed its removal to RBC Crypto. Later the company pointed out that its EU-registered entities are prohibited from providing services to organizations established in Russia and Russian citizens and stated: “All current restrictions related to sanctions against Russian citizens are applied by the platform and its legal entities in the European Union in full.”
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Legal expert Andrey Tugarin suggested that Binance may have moved Russian users to a different jurisdiction to avoid being subject to EU restrictions. Bits.media, a prominent Russian crypto news outlet, quoted Tugarin on the matter. Additionally, Binance’s support team stated that the card payment service is still in the testing phase and not yet available to all users. However, most users can already make transactions using the Qiwi Wallet.