Amid Binance halting its services in countries like Israel over licensing matters, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume continues strengthening relations with Russia.
Binance announced Thursday its entry into the Association of Banks of Russia, aiming to facilitate dialogue with local authorities, lawmakers and experts in the cryptocurrency industry.
Founded in 1990, the association includes over 300 banks and financial institutions in Russia, covering nearly 90% of the country’s banking infrastructure.
The association’s council has approved Binance’s membership in the association, launching a dedicated expert center for digital financial assets and digital currencies. The expert center’s mission is to prepare professional reviews on the circulation of digital assets in Russia and provide the association and its representatives with expert data on the topic as well as report on the international experience of handling crypto assets.
Olga Goncharova, Binance's director of government relations in Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), took the lead of the association's expert center, approved by the association's presidium council. Goncharova joined the crypto exchange in January to push compliance efforts in Russia and CIS. Before joining Binance, she worked as a department director at the Bank of Russia.
Introducing Goncharova, Association President Georgy Luntovsky noted that she will be responsible for proper monitoring of the circulation of digital currencies in Russia. “In our opinion, she is a good candidate to lead the platform where the expert community could discuss approaches to the regulation and development of digital financial assets,” he noted.
Gleb Kostarev, director at Binance’s Eastern Europe division, expressed confidence that Binance’s expertise in the crypto market will be positively received by the Russian banking community.
“We are on the verge of a global transformation in the field of cryptocurrency regulation. Binance, as the largest cryptocurrency ecosystem in the world, has a solid track record of working with regulators,” Kostarev noted.
Binance is known for its close cooperation with some Russian organizations backed by the state as well as local blockchain advocates.
In 2021, Binance provided its nonfungible token (NFT) platform to the Russian State Hermitage Museum to help it raise over $440,000 in an NFT auction of the museum’s tokenized collectibles. Binance execs were also advocating for the crypto industry adoption as part of a Russian crypto lobby group in 2020.