Binance suspends card services for Russian banks targeted by Western sanctions

on Mar 2, 2022
  • Some Russian users have complained of their local banks being declined by Binance.
  • The cards belong to banks such as Sberbank that have been targeted by Western sanctions.
  • Binance had earlier stated that it will not unilaterally freeze Russian user accounts.

Follow Invezz on Telegram, Twitter, and Google News for instant updates >

A section of Russian users on Binance has stated that the exchange giant no longer supports local bank cards. The cards cannot be used to deposit fiat currency on the exchange or facilitate the purchase of digital assets.

Last week, the vice prime minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, urged all major exchanges to block Russian users and freeze their assets on the exchange.

Binance allegedly suspends Russian bank cards

Reports stated that after some Russian users attempted to use their local bank cards on Binance, they received a warning message saying,

Please be informed. We currently do not support the bank cards issued in your country.

The message also adds a positive note saying Binance was “working on making this a possibility as soon as we can.” However, the Telegram and Twitter channels of Binance Russia have not issued any announcements regarding the removal of these local cards.

Binance’s Telegram administrator has said that “as of now, Binance is operating normally.” A spokesperson from Binance Russia has further stated that this could be some form of error and that if Binance makes any changes, it will inform its users.

However, other sources have clarified that Binance is turning down some cards from banks targeted by Western sanctions. One of these cards belongs to Sberbank, one of the largest banks in Russia. Other users have also said that cards issued by Tinkoff have not been affected by this disruption. Tinkoff has not been included in the Western sanctions.

Exchanges turn down Ukraine’s request to block exchanges

A Binance spokesperson spoke to CNBC, saying that the exchange would not unilaterally ban users from the exchange. “Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”

The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, also responded to Fedorov’s request saying that freezing and blocking the accounts of Russian users would require a legal requirement. Coinbase has also said it will not issue a blanket ban on its Russian users.