Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been accused in a media report of agreeing to provide user data to Russia’s financial watchdog. The trading platform has refuted the allegations. It also insists it’s complying with Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Rosfinmonitoring labeled his network a terrorist organization a year ago. The Kremlin critic claimed the crypto donations were used to fund efforts to expose corruption inside President Putin’s administration. Supporters who sent money through Russian banks were interrogated, Navalny’s foundation says. After his arrest in January 2021, it encouraged backers to donate via Binance.
Navalny was detained upon his return to the Russian Federation, after recovering from poisoning that the West blames on Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), an accusation rejected by Russian authorities. Relying on statements from several unidentified persons who interacted with the regulator, Reuters writes that the agency acts as an arm of the FSB. Officially, it is an independent body responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Kostarev, Binance’s representative for Eastern Europe and Russia, reportedly consented to Rosfinmonitoring’s request to agree to share client data, according to the said messages. He also told his business partner he didn’t have “much of a choice.” Binance commented for Reuters it had been “actively seeking compliance in Russia” before the war in Ukraine, which would have required it to respond to “appropriate requests from regulators and law enforcement agencies.”
While emphasizing that “fulfilling disclosure obligations to the authorities in each jurisdiction is a large part of becoming a regulated business,” the global crypto trading platform said that the suggestions it shared any user data, including related to Alexei Navalny, with agencies controlled by the FSB and Russian regulators are “categorically false.” Binance insisted it had not sought to assist the Russian state in its attempts to investigate the opposition leader.
What are your thoughts on the report alleging that Binance shared user data with Russia’s financial watchdog? Let us know in the comments section below.