Binance CZ refutes any connection with CommEX

abdelaziz Fathi

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, has denied being the owner of CommEX, the company that reportedly acquired Binance’s business in Russia.

Earlier this week, Binance announced its exit from the Russian market amid reports of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into sanctions violations. CommEX has raised questions due to its similarities to Binance in terms of user interface and its recent establishment. However, CZ has refuted any connection between himself and CommEX.

“I am not their UBO, nor do I own any shares there. The deal does not have any buy back options. (A google search seem to show some businesses like Mercedes, McDonalds, Nissan have buy back options in their Russia sell off deal. This is not the case here.),” CZ said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Nevertheless, CZ acknowledged that some former members of the Binance CIS team may have joined the CommEX team, and he sees this as a positive development. He also mentioned that the design and APIs of CommEX are similar to Binance’s, which was done intentionally to ensure a seamless and familiar user experience for customers.

“There will be crypto transfers between Binance & CommEx as users migrate with their funds. There are also older transactions during the testing phase of the integrations. This is expected. CommEx does not service US or EU users. They have IP and KYC blocks. This is a term we asked for in the deal,” he added.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced Wednesday it will sell its Russian business to the newly-launched exchange CommEX. However, it did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

As part of the sale, Binance will not have an ongoing revenue share or an option to repurchase shares in the business. But the exchange assured its existing Russian users that their assets are safe and that there will be an orderly process for the migration of users to the new platform. The divestment process is expected to take up to one year to minimize disruptions for users during the transition, according to Binance.

The US Department of Justice’s national security division is investigating whether Binance or its executives violated US sanctions related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and interference in Ukraine. This probe is separate from an ongoing inquiry by the DOJ’s criminal division into Binance’s compliance with anti-money laundering and tax laws.

The move came shortly after Binance reportedly eased restrictions on Russian citizens and residents that it had imposed over a year ago, breaking ranks with mainstream finance and global regulators in a decision that weakens Western attempts to isolate Moscow.

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