Binance P2P removes sanctioned Russian banks from payments list


Crypto trade Binance has eliminated “yellow” and “green” fee choices from its peer-to-peer (P2P) service after being criticized for utilizing these code phrases to characterize sanctioned Russian banks, Cointelegraph confirmed on Aug. 25.

Payment methodology searches for color-themed code phrases end in no hits. Source: Binance

Binance’s peer-to-peer trade service is a message board permitting customers to supply to purchase or promote cryptocurrency. It additionally features as a crypto escrow service. However, not like Binance’s important trade platform, it leaves fiat payments to be dealt with by customers, and no fiat cash passes by way of Binance’s servers.

On Aug. 22, The Wall Street Journal reported that Binance was listing sanctioned Russian banks reminiscent of Tinkoff and Rosbank as switch strategies. This led to criticism that Binance could also be violating sanctions by endorsing these banks as fee strategies.

On Aug. 24, a number of Russian information shops started reporting that Binance had eradicated these banks from its list of fee strategies. However, these banks had reappeared as code words “yellow” and “green,” with “yellow” representing sanctioned financial institution Tinkoff and “green” representing sanctioned financial institution Rosbank.

On Aug. 25, The Wall Street Journal reported that the sanctioned banks had been eliminated from the list. The report quoted a Binance spokesperson indicating that the banks had been eliminated after the trade realized that account holders had been utilizing the service to bypass sanctions. “We regularly update our systems to ensure compliance with local and global regulatory standards,” the spokesperson reportedly stated. “When gaps are pointed out to us, we seek to address and remediate them as soon as possible.”

On the identical day, Cointelegraph confirmed that the “yellow” and “green” fee strategies had been eliminated. Sixteen fee strategies are nonetheless accessible for Russian ruble conversions to crypto, together with Raiffeisenbank, Russian Standard Bank, Payeer, AdvCash and others. But Tinkoff and Rosbank are not on the list, nor are their code phrase equivalents.

Related: Russia to begin CBDC trials with 13 banks

Despite their official elimination, Cointelegraph discovered that Binance P2P customers are nonetheless promoting gross sales with “the green bank” as their fee methodology. These customers list different strategies of fee, reminiscent of Russian Standard Bank or Ak Bars Bank, within the “payment method” subject however then state explicitly inside the “advertiser’s terms” that they may solely settle for transfers utilizing “the green bank.”

User posting a Binance P2P sale demanding payments to “solely inexperienced financial institution.” Source: Binance

In this fashion, customers have been in a position to proceed utilizing Binance P2P to promote cryptocurrency by way of sanctioned fee strategies.

Peer-to-peer crypto marketplaces have been controversial since their inception. Supporters argue these marketplaces are needed to forestall authorities fee censorship, whereas detractors say they’re utilized by criminals to maneuver illicit funds.

Before 2023, some of the fashionable peer-to-peer marketplaces was LocalBitcoins. However, it was shut down earlier this yr, and a few customers moved to Binance P2P in response. 

Paxful co-founder Ray Youssef argued on Aug. 25 that P2P marketplaces are nonetheless too centralized and too susceptible to shutdown by governments. He is engaged on a brand new market referred to as “Civ Kit” that he claims will be much more difficult for governments to close down.