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Binance Suspends P2P Transactions in Russia After Lapse Sanctions Enforcement Scrutiny

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchanges have helped traders bypass international sanctions against Russian banks.
  • Binance's recent move could exacerbate its already challenging regulatory status situation in the United States.
  • The latest crackdown bans payments made with cards issued by banks including Rosbank and Tinkoff Bank.
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Binance has dropped support for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments from five sanctioned Russian banks. The news follows reports earlier in the week that the firm’s P2P crypto exchange had failed to implement international Sanctions against certain banks. 

After many crypto exchanges terminated or severely curtailed Ruble-based services under the pressure of international sanctions, in recent times, Russian crypto traders have often turned to P2P alternatives.

Binance Cuts Ties With Rosbank, Tinkoff, and Other Russian Banks

But platforms that enable ruble-for-crypto swaps between individuals are increasingly toeing the line on sanctions.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Binance was enabling peer-to-peer trades of rubles for cryptocurrencies that involved sanctioned Russian banks. Among them were the country’s second-largest credit card provider, Tinkoff Bank, and former Société Générale subsidiary Rosbank.

According to the report, until this week, account holders with sanctioned banks could still purchase crypto with their cards. 

Banks were referred to by color rather than by name in what looks suspiciously like a deliberate attempt to obscure the actual payment methods used. For example, bank cards issued by Sber and Tinkoff were listed as ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ payment options on the P2P platform.

Currently, Binance is under investigation in the US for the very crime of facilitating sanctions violations. In light of such allegations, the recent revelations threaten to worsen an already challenging situation for the exchange.

However, on August 25, Binance blacklisted payments made with cards issued by five sanctioned banks. At the same time, the platform has also banned Russian users from conducting P2P transactions with non-ruble currencies.

ByBit Also Responds to Russian Sanctions

As BeInCrypto’s Russian news team uncovered, Binance isn’t the only exchange that has recently cut ties with sanctioned institutions. In recent days, the offshore exchange ByBit has also delisted cards held with certain Russian banks as P2P payment options.

Support Telegram Chat ByBit P2P Russia Sanctioned Banks
ByBit P2P Support Telegram Channel. Source: BeInCrypto

The report notes that it is now impossible to make or receive P2P payments on ByBit with cards issued by several banks. The platform has also imposed stricter limits on Tinkoff and Sberbank cards.

Upon inquiry, ByBit support staff confirmed that the platform no longer facilitates payments from some banks. Meanwhile, Tinkoff and Sberbank-issued cards can only be used by people who have passed enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) vetting.

The enhanced KYC rules also apply to other payment services, including YuMoney.

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James Morales
James is a London-based editor, writer and explorer of the cryptosphere who started his journalistic career writing about digital art before honing his craft as a financial technology reporter. From the latest innovation in digital assets to the evolution of Web3, he is perpetually fascinated by the technologies of decentralization.
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