Russian telecom regulator blacklists Binance
Europe,  Regulation

Russian regulator blacklists Binance

As new Russian regulations loom, the leading cryptocurrency exchange is banned for distributing forbidden information, specifically instructions about how to acquire Bitcoin

The domain of cryptocurrency exchange Binance is now among those blacklisted by the Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor.

On Sept. 25, Binance announced in its Russian-language Telegram group that the firm had been informed by Roskomnadzor of the addition of its domain to the list of websites containing information prohibited for distribution in Russia. The regulator made it clear that the “prohibited information” is instructions about acquiring digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Furthermore, Binance also claims that the firm had not been warned by law enforcement and government services before the blacklisting of its domain. So far, the company consulted with lawyers and announced that it will continue offering its services to Russia’s citizens. 

The blacklist of domains maintained by Roskomnadzor lists Binance’s website, but notes that access to it is currently unrestricted. As a consequence, Russian citizens can still access the crypto exchange without using additional traffic routing or obfuscation tools such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN) or proxies.

It is currently unclear whether the regulator intends to make Binance’s website unavailable in the near future or keep it accessible indefinitely. Binance has not replied to Modern Consensus’ inquiry by press time.

Russia tightens its grip on crypto

Binance’s announcement follows yesterday’s reports by Russian media that the local Ministry of Finance has proposed new—and much stricter—cryptocurrency regulations. The regulator claims that this asset class is “often used for tax evasion, money laundering and illegal activities” and because of that should be monitored more closely.

It must be said that this vision of the local crypto space may have at least some foundation. As Modern Consensus reported in late July, Russia has seen a rising tide of crypto scams, while a recent poll revealed that only one in 10 Russians would invest in cryptocurrencies.

The newly proposed regulation would force cryptocurrency exchanges—such as Binance—to report transfers of funds and cryptocurrencies to the tax authorities when the transactions involve Russian users. The identification of those users would then be carried out through the user payment details and IP addresses.

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Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.