Popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance is under fire for helping Russians bypass the sanctions placed by the US government last year in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine.
According to a Bloomberg report (Paywall), the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Binance but the regulator has not accused the exchange or its executives of any wrongdoings. This is not the first time Binance is under a microscope for helping people evade sanctions. Last year, the company was accused of helping Iranian firms trade billion despite the sanctions. According to the report, Binance officials assisted Russian nationals to access and move money through its exchange to skirt the US sanctions.
Binance has, of course, denied any wrongdoings and assured that it is in compliance with US and international sanctions.
In 2021, Binance launched an initiative to completely overhaul its corporate governance structure, including bringing in a world-class bench of seasoned executives to fundamentally change how Binance operates globally.
Our policy imposes a zero-tolerance approach to double registrations, anonymous identities, and obscure sources of money.
As noted, the Department of Justice is yet to make a formal accusation and the regulator is currently probing the allegations. The current inquiry is being led by the Justice Department’s national security division in parallel with an existing inquiry by the criminal division. So, it may be a while before we know for sure if the cryptocurrency exchange did in fact helped Russians move money through the exchange to evade the US sanctions.