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Crypto exchange Binance curbs services in Russia

Crypto exchange Binance curbs services in Russia

A representation of cryptocurrency Binance. (File photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

The world's largest cryptocurrency exchange is deactivating the accounts of its major clients in Russia, it said on Thursday (Apr 21), cutting back its services in the country in line with European Union sanctions.

Binance told users that Russian nationals and people living in the country, as well as companies based there, that hold crypto worth over €10,000 (US$10,900), would be banned from making new deposits or trading.

Affected clients would however be able to withdraw funds, it said.

Accounts for Russia-linked users that have completed address checks and hold crypto worth less than €10,000 would remain active, Binance added.

In its fifth package of sanctions on Russia, the EU this month targeted digital wallets used to store, send, receive and spend cryptocurrencies, part of broader efforts to close potential loopholes that could allow Russians to move money abroad.

Binance, along with major US exchanges Coinbase Global and Kraken, had rejected calls from Kyiv for a total ban on Russian users after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" the country.

Binance said in March it would not "unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users' accounts", but that it would ensure compliance with sanctions.

It also said last month that cardholders of Russian banks subject to sanctions would not be able to use the cards on their platform and confirmed that individuals in the same category had had their access restricted.

Source: Reuters/ic

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