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EXMO Crypto Exchange Suspends Services to Russian and Belarusian Clients

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • EXMO will no longer service Russian and Belarusian clients, as it sells off its business assets in the region.
  • EXMO.com will no longer onboard Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh residents.
  • EXMO will sell its digital assets business in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, where it had recently established a new team.
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EXMO will no longer service Russian and Belarusian clients as it sells off its business assets in the region citing the mounting risks of operating there.

The UK-based cryptocurrency exchange announced its intention to withdraw from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in a statement on its website.

“In this current climate, which is highly uncertain, we must prioritize our adaptability by following a more rigid strategy,” the company said.

In its announcement, the company lamented having to make such a drastic decision following “eight years building a strong community of crypto enthusiasts throughout the world.” 

However, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the facilitation of these attacks by Belarus, EXMO ultimately believes that continuing to operate in these “high-risk markets” would threaten its global expansion plans. 

The crypto exchange disabled Russian ruble pairs on April 15.

EXMO had only recently established team

EXMO has decided to sell its digital assets business in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, where it had recently established a new team. 

Consequently, EXMO.com amended its user agreement, stating that it would no longer accept Russian, Belarusian, or Kazakh residents.

Additionally, EMXO announced that its Russian ultimate beneficial owner, Eduard Bark, would be stepping down, and his stake would be transferred to one of its directors, Serhii Zhdanov. 

The company said that the new owner of its Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh digital assets exchange business would be a Russian-based software development company that had served as a vendor for engineering services over the past three years. It will operate under the EXMO.me domain.

In a comment to Be[in]Crypto, EXMO.me CEO Arslan Kudiyar said that under the terms of the deal, EXMO.me has the right to use the “branding, software and technical developments” of the original exchange. 

“We see great potential in our region, we will continue the active development of the Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh parts of the business, as well as follow the long-term plans of the previous team,” Kudiyar said.

Last week, Russia’s Ministry of Finance said it was working on draft legislation that would legalize the use of cryptocurrencies. 

While some Russians have taken up the use of cryptocurrencies as the domestic banking system crumbles under Western sanctions, crypto exchanges lack the liquidity to effectively circumvent sanctions on a larger scale.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.
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