The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance, has barred Russia-based users from buying and selling US dollars and euros using its P2P (peer-to-peer) platform, media reported on Wednesday.
The company attributed the decision to the latest round of Western sanctions against Russia, saying that transactions in dollars and euros will be unavailable to any individuals residing in Russia regardless of nationality.
The exchange also banned users based in the EU from making transfers in Russian rubles via the platform, according to media reports. When trying to make a transaction in rubles, the platform prompts users to select a ‘local currency’ for P2P.
“In order to continue using Binance P2P, users can choose other available fiat currencies,” a representative of the exchange told Forbes Russia.
Major crypto exchange to suspend US dollar transfers
After Visa and Mastercard left the Russian market last year and a number of Russian banks were disconnected from SWIFT, cryptocurrencies, particularly the stablecoin USDT, became a popular way for Russians to move money abroad. In light of the Western restrictions, Russians turned to P2P services on crypto exchanges, which allowed dollar- or euro-pegged cryptocurrencies to be moved between crypto wallets.
The latest ban from US-registered Binance comes on top of an earlier round of restrictions on trading activities for Russian users. In April 2022, the company placed limitations on Russian accounts that had crypto assets worth over €10,000.
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