Binance said it has blocked the accounts of some of its users who are affiliated with sanctioned officials.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, Binance, said in a recent Bloomberg report that it had blocked the accounts of users linked to senior Kremlin officials.
This, according to Binance, is part of widespread international sanctions on Russia for its continuous invasion of Ukraine.
Users Affected by the Ban
According to the popular cryptocurrency trading platform, some of its users affected by the stringent measures include Elizabeta Peskova, daughter of President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, and Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Binance, which noted that it blocked these accounts over the past two months, said it also placed a blanket ban on Kirill Malofeev, the son of Konstantin Malofeev, one of the business tycoons accused by the U.S. Treasury of financing Russia’s separatism in Crimea.
Binance Proactive in Handling Issues
Chagri Poyraz, Binance’s Global Head of sanctions noted that even though it has blocked several users affiliated with sanctioned Russian officials over the past two months, it is still running checks to identify more of these users.
“What’s different is that our compliance screen operations are proactive, aiming to detect and deter financial crime risk before any regulatory or legal action towards these individuals or entities,” Poyraz said.
Describing how proactive Binance has been in banning users believed to be supporting the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Poyraz noted that Binance banned the Garantex trading platform on March 11, 2022, which happened some weeks earlier than when U.S. authorities announced sanctions on the entity.
Poyraz also added that Peskova was banned on March 3, 2022, after which she was later sanctioned by U.S. authorities the following week.
Efforts to get comments from Kovaleva, Peskova, and Malofeev did not yield any result at the time of writing.
Binance Not Planning to Ban Russian Residents
Meanwhile, Binance had earlier refused calls to block its Russia-based clients from using the trading platform, as it noted that implementing such stringent measures will only defeat the objective of cryptocurrencies, which focus on providing economic and financial freedom.
However, last week, Binance announced that it would limit its services to Russia following widespread European Union sanctions on the country.