Authorities in Russia appear to be going after Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange — as its domain is now in the list of prohibited websites in the country. On Sept. 24, Binance officially announced on its Russian Telegram channel that Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has added the website to the register of platforms disseminating prohibited information.
According to the announcement, Binance has been placed in the list due to distribution of data related to the acquisition of digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC). Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of operations for Russia and the CIS, told Cointelegraph that the exchange announced the news immediately after the exchange received a notification from Roskomnadzor.
Despite the domain being placed on the list of prohibited websites, Russians can still access it without any additional tools like a VPN. As of press time, the URL can be found on the official register of blacklisted sites of Roskomnadzor. According to the data, the website was listed on June 2, 2020, while the access to the website “is not limited.”
In the public announcement, Binance executives emphasized that they haven’t received any information about the restriction prior to Sept. 24, stating:
"We were not previously notified of any claims by law enforcement agencies, civil government services or courts prior to receiving the above notification. We have now engaged our legal counsels for further advice and would like to assure all of our Russian users that there will be no disruption to their services in the interim and that their funds are safe.”
As Binance's website was purportedly blacklisted by Roskomnadzor in June 2020, the action appears to be unrelated to Binance’s plans to launch its crypto debit card in Russia since the plans for it were announced slightly later, in September 2020.
In late August, Roskomnadzor also blocked BestChange.ru, a major cryptocurrency website in Russia that provides an aggregator service of about 400 local crypto exchange websites.