- CZ has denied claims published in a Reuters article that Binance shared Russian user data with FSB agencies and regulators
- According to Reuters, the Russian agency, Rosfin, was seeking to trace millions of dollars in Bitcoin raised by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny
- CZ has clarified that as soon as the war in Ukraine started, Binance ceased operations in Russia and complied with sanctions
- Any government or law enforcement in the world can request data from Binance on the condition it is accompanied by the proper legal processes
Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has refuted Reuters claims that the exchange shared user data with Russian regulators and the country’s FSB-controlled agencies.
2. Suggestions that Binance shared any user data, including Alexei Navalny, with Russian FSB controlled agencies and Russian regulators are categorically false.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) April 23, 2022
More on the Reuters Article Claiming Binance Shared User Data with Russia’s FSB
The Reuters article in question had suggested that in April 2021, Russia’s financial intelligence unit of Rosfin met in Moscow with the regional head of Binance. Rosfin wanted Binance to hand over client data, including names and addresses, to help them fight crime. Of particular importance was the millions of dollars in Bitcoin raised by the jailed Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny.
According to the article, the meeting was meant to build ties between Binance and Russian government agencies to boost the exchange’s operations in the country. However, Reuters admits that it obtained the information through ‘text messages the company official sent to a business associate.’
Binance Ceased Operations in Russia as Soon as it Invaded Ukraine
According to CZ, before the war broke out in Ukraine, Binance was operating in Russia and actively engaged with regulators to develop effective frameworks for the industry. However, as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine, Binance ceased all operations in Russia and started to implement the strict global sanctions spearheaded by the European Union. He said:
Like every other blockchain company operating in Russia, prior to the War with Ukraine, Binance was actively pushing for Russia to develop an effective crypto regulatory framework – an effort we are undertaking in every market we operate in.
As soon as the war started, we stopped working in Russia. Instead, we aggressively implemented sanctions against Russia. Today, Binance is the ONLY crypto exchange in the world to implement the latest EU package of measures against Russian account holders.
Any Government or Law Enforcement Agency Can Request Data from Binance
On sharing data with authorities, CZ pointed out that ‘any government or law enforcement agency in the world can request user data from Binance as long as it is accompanied by the proper legal authority.’