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Binance website gets blacklisted by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecom aggregator

Photo of: Dennis Ramos
by Dennis Ramos

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is in for some trouble this time. It seems that regulator watchdogs in Russia are going after it, and Binance’s web domain now appears in the list of prohibited sites in the country. Binance announced on its Russian Telegram Channel that the Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has included the Binance website as one of those platforms that have been spreading information which the country has prohibited. The announcement was made yesterday. 

It has been alleged that Binance, considered to be the biggest crypto exchange in terms of user base and daily trading volumes, has been in the list because reportedly it has distributed data related to the acquisition of digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC).  Gleb Kostarev who heads Binance’s operation for Russia and the CIS has said in a statement that Binance immediately made this official the moment it received the notification from the authority Roskomnadzor.

The domain has been [prohibited but that will not mean Russians will not be able to access it. Russians can still access the portal without needing any additional tools like a VPN. The URL has officially entered the blacklisted sites of Roskomnadzor. Information from the website tells that the website was formally listed on June 2’nd this year while the access to the website is not limited. A public announcement was made by executives in which they categorically stated that they have not received any information about the new restriction before September 24th. They stated: 

“We were not previously notified of any claims by law enforcement agencies, civil government services, or courts prior to receiving the above notification. We have now engaged our legal counsels for further advice and would like to assure all of our Russian users that there will be no disruption to their services in the interim and that their funds are safe.”

The Binance website was presumptively blacklisted by the regulator in June 2020. The blacklist action seems to be totally unrelated to the exchange’s plans to launch its own crypto debit card in Russia because its plans for it were announced much later in September 2020. 

Gleb Kostarev the Binance head for Russia and CIS had earlier said that the plan to introduce a Binance card in Russia comes in sync with its mission to provide users with an experience that is fully compliant with local regulations. But Binance was also not ready to announce the anticipated launch date or provide any legal comment on the issue to date. He stated: 

“We strive to provide all Binance users with the same experience that is fully compliant with local regulations. Russia for us is an important market. We are working on the launch of the Binance card in Russia, but so far we cannot designate the exact date launch or give any legal opinion on this issue at the moment.”

Roskomnadzor in late August also went on to block BestChage.ru, a major cryptocurrency website in Russia which is an aggregator service of about 400 local crypto exchange websites.